Fisheries New Zealand is inviting people to have their say on a draft Pāua Fisheries Plan for the commercial pāua fishery along the Wairarapa coast,
Fisheries New Zealand’s acting director fisheries management, Robert Gear says the Wairarapa pāua fishery includes both blackfoot and yellowfoot pāua, which are highly valued by customary, commercial, and recreational fishers.
“The PAU 2 fishery has been stable for many years and, while we estimate it to be in good health, some areas are coming under increasing pressure,” said Mr Gear.
“The draft plan looks to enhance the current settings to support the sustainability of this important shared fishery.
“It has been developed by the PAU 2 Industry Association Incorporated (PauaMAC2) on behalf of quota owners and harvesters in the area, and with the involvement and support of Fisheries New Zealand.”
- enhancing pāua productivity and protecting breeding stock by increasing the minimum size of pāua that is harvested;
- controlling where harvesting takes place at a finer scale, including spreading fishing effort and adjusting the minimum size across different areas;
- reducing the total level of commercial catch by setting aside and not harvesting an agreed proportion of Annual Catch Entitlement, and
- using techniques such as translocation of pāua to other areas within the fishery to support local pāua populations.
“The draft plan applies only to commercial pāua fishing and is limited to the area where commercial harvesting takes place within PAU 2, which is from Turakirae Head to Blackhead Lighthouse,” said Mr Gear.
He said the draft Plan includes objectives to manage stocks above at sustainable levels so the fishery can continue to thrive in the future.
“It’s another tool in the kit that, if approved, will help commercial pāua fishers play their part in the ongoing sustainability of this important shared fishery.”
“We encourage anyone with an interest to provide feedback by 24 July 2023.”