Thursday, July 18, 2024

Fisheries seeks views on proposals to address kina numbers

Fisheries New Zealand is seeking feedback on two proposed measures to help address kina barrens and rebalance local ecosystems.

The proposals include a new special permit for targeted culling, harvest, or translocation of kina and long-spined sea urchins, and options to increase recreational daily bag limits for kina in the Auckland East Fisheries Management Area.

“Kina barrens are areas of rocky reef where healthy kelp forests have been consumed by an excess of kina to form a bare, or barren, space, making it uninviting to other marine life,” says Director Fisheries Management, Emma Taylor.

“Kelp forms a key part of a healthy ecosystem in these areas and promotes biodiversity by offering shelter, breeding grounds, and food sources for a range of sea life, including kina predator species.”

The proposed special permit would allow the removal of kina and long-spined sea urchins from areas where there are already kina barrens or areas that are at risk of forming new barrens. Special permits would also enable kina to be moved to other areas with low kina density to improve their food value, or to be used in aquaculture projects.

The proposed increase to the daily bag limit would affect the Auckland East Fisheries Management Area, which covers the east coast of Northland, the Hauraki Gulf, Coromandel, and Bay of Plenty. The current daily bag limit for kina is 50 per fisher. Proposed options are to increase this limit to 100 or 150 kina per fisher per day.

“Kina barrens occur in other regions of New Zealand, however they are most prevalent along the east coast of the upper North Island. Raising the daily bag limit for this area aligns with the localised nature of the issue and aims to address the specific challenges of the region.”

“Although targeted removal and increased daily bag limits aren’t a silver bullet for kina barrens, these measures will play an important role in the recovery of kelp in marine ecosystems that are suffering from too much kina.”

“The consultation is open now, and we encourage everyone who has an interest in the management of kina barrens to have their say on these two proposals,” said Ms Taylor.

Fisheries New Zealand will analyse the submissions and provide advice to the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries for consideration.

Submissions can be made online until 5pm on 3 May 2024.

More information, including how to make a submission:

Recreational bag limit for kina in Auckland Fisheries Management Area consultation

Special permit for removal of kina and long-spined sea urchins consultation.

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