Southland area fishing rules

Recreational fishing rules for the Southland area, including closures, restrictions, and other important notices.

What you need to know

Map of Southland fishing area
Map of Southland fishing area

This area covers the waters south and west from Awarua Point, South Westland to Slope Point, the Catlins south-east coast, Foveaux Strait, Stewart Island and all adjacent islands and waters out to 200 nautical miles. However, it excludes Fiordland which has different rules.

All recreational fishing – including potting, netting and all other fishing methods – is covered by rules.

This page is a summary of daily bag and size limits and closed and restricted areas.

For more information about rules you can:

You can also:

It is illegal to buy, sell or swap recreationally caught seafood

These are offences against the Fisheries Act which can result in fines up to $250,000.

Report poaching

Report poaching, suspicious, or illegal activity – call 0800 4 POACHER (0800 47 62 24) or email

You can help us by providing:

  • the location
  • vehicle/trailer registration number
  • boat name
  • description of the person

When reporting any suspected poaching put your personal safety first. All calls and personal details are treated as confidential.

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