Renowned eel expert and kaitiaki (guardian) Wiliam ‘Bill’ Kerrison died suddenly today.

Known as Mr Tuna – Bill Kerrison devoted his life to protecting and enhancing the survival of eels on the Rangitaiki River.

Each year he would trap and transfer millions of elvers and other native fish species past the Aniwhenua and Matahina hydro-electric dams to continue maturing or head out to sea to breed. It’s estimated he has helped over 30 million eels.

Earlier this month, he was honoured as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to river and wildlife conservation.

He will be taken to Waiohau Marae until a funeral service on Sunday 19th January at 11 am.