Thursday, April 25, 2024

MPI casts line for pāua fishery feedback

Fisheries New Zealand is inviting people to have their say on proposals to reopen the Kaikōura pāua fishery.

Acting director fisheries management, Allen Frazer says using the best available science and information, the proposals take a precautionary approach with options that include lowering recreational daily bag limits, increasing the minimum size limit, and introducing a new vehicle and vessel limit.

“We’ve worked closely with tangata whenua and key stakeholders to develop proposals which consider both the long-term health and sustainability of the fishery and the community it serves,” he said.

“We know fishing for pāua was a popular activity for visitors last season, and we’ve included options for a recreational fishing season that avoids the peak summer period when the region experiences its highest visitor volumes.

“In addition, options for lowering the recreational daily bag limit and introducing a new vehicle and vessel limit would further restrict recreational catch, while allowing people to fish for a feed and not for the freezer.”

Proposals to increase the minimum legal size for recreationally caught pāua would provide greater protection for spawning biomass, and also align with limits for the commercial pāua fishery, Mr Frazer said.

Also included, are proposals to reopen the area to limited commercial and recreational fishing of all shellfish and most seaweed species, and permanently reopen the commercial pāua fishery.

“A new independent recreational fishing survey would be carried out to allow the effectiveness of the recreational management measures to be monitored. With a focus on the long-term, we’re also asking people for feedback on exploring possible alternative tools to manage the recreational pāua fishery at Kaikōura like tagging or catch reporting such as those used for overseas abalone fisheries,” said Mr Frazer.

The proposals cover the Kaikōura Marine Area and the northern coastline to Marfells Beach and Cape Campbell.

“We encourage anyone with an interest in this important shared fishery to have their say,” he said.

Consultation starts today, Monday 31 October and will close at 5pm on Wednesday, 30 November.

More information, including how to submit feedback, is available at: mpi.govt.nz/2023-kaikoura-paua.

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