Sunday, June 23, 2024

Fisheries plan to safeguard Fiordland

Fisheries New Zealand is seeking public feedback on a proposal developed by the Fiordland Marine Guardians for changes to recreational fishing rules to support the sustainability of fisheries resources within the Fiordland Marine Area.

Established in 2005, the Fiordland Marine Guardians work with government agencies and provide advice and recommendations on managing the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Area.

Fisheries New Zealand’s inshore manager south, Allen Frazer says the proposal and recommendations could see a change to where recreational fishing occurs within the Fiordland Marine Area, and new daily limits for many species.

“The Guardians have expressed their concern about increasing recreational fishing effort in Fiordland and the effect this has on fish stocks. Their proposals set out measures to encourage people to fish in the outer areas of the fiords where the fishery is more productive,” said Mr Frazer.

The proposal also aligns with the Guardians’ philosophy of ‘fishing for a feed’, not the freezer.

“This is something Fisheries New Zealand also encourages – a daily catch limit is not a target, and we all want to ensure there are plenty of fish in the water for future generations to enjoy,” said Mr Fraser.

“There is no other place like Fiordland in Aotearoa. Along with mountain ranges, lakes, and breathtaking landscapes, its marine area is home to a number of fish species that are popular amongst fishers. We all have a shared responsibility to care for this national taonga.”

At a high level the proposed changes include:

  • Introducing boundary lines that set the areas for differential limits for certain finfish and shellfish to protect fish stocks in the fiord entrances and encourage fishing effort on the productive outer coast zone.
  • Changing the finfish, rock lobster, and shellfish daily limits to encourage people to ‘Fish for a Feed’ by taking only what they need.
  • Temporarily closing hāpuku/bass/groper and scallop fisheries in the internal waters of Fiordland to enable stocks to rebuild.

“We encourage anyone with an interest to provide their feedback on the proposals before consultation closes on Friday, 30 September,” says Mr Frazer.

A series of community drop-in sessions will be held in Dunedin, Invercargill, Cromwell, Gore, and Te Anau from 29 August to 2 September.

The full proposal and information on how to make a submission can be found online at:

Review of recreational fishing measures – Fiordland Marine Area

Following consultation, Fisheries New Zealand will discuss the feedback received with the Fiordland Marine Guardians and provide advice to the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries for his consideration.

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