UPDATE – 30 November 2023
New legal controls at Aotea Great Barrier Island and Ahuahu Great Mercury Island
An updated Controlled Area Notice is in place over parts of Aotea Great Barrier Island and Ahuahu Great Mercury Island with changed restrictions on anchoring and fishing.
Aotea Great Barrier Island CAN
The new controlled area extends from Cape Barrier in the south, up the entire western coastline to the southern edge of Port Abercrombie and out to 40 metres deep and including up to the high-tide mark (refer to the map below).
Throughout this area, there are restrictions on some fishing activities that make contact with the seafloor (and can therefore spread exotic caulerpa) – for example using flounder nets, dredging, or bottom trawling.
Anchoring without a specific permit from Biosecurity New Zealand is also prohibited in the entire area, with the exception of Port Fitzroy (in yellow on map). A special permit-free area is in place there and anchoring is allowed. However, fishing restrictions apply in Port Fitzroy.
Map of Aotea Great Barrier Island
Within the whole controlled area (including Port Fitzroy), you can:
- line fish using a rod and line and handline from the shore or a wharf/jetty
- drift fish from a vessel – for example, kayak, boat
- spear fish and hand gather
- do shore-based longlining – for example with a kontiki or drone
Within this area, you cannot:
- fish for any seafood (fish, crayfish, shellfish) using any method that comes into contact with the seabed – for example, you must not use flounder nets, dredging or bottom trawling
- anchor a vessel except in an emergency (for example to seek shelter in a storm) or with a permit from Biosecurity New Zealand. (Port Fitzroy is an exception. In Port Fitzroy, anchoring is allowed without a permit).
To apply for an anchoring exemption permit (for all areas of the CAN apart from Port Fitzroy), complete the application form and email it to Caulerpa@mpi.govt.nz
Ahuahu Great Mercury Island CAN
The controlled area at Great Mercury Island remains unchanged from the former CAN. It takes in the western bays area of the island between Maunganui Point and Ahikopua Point, including Huruhi Harbour, and including the high-tide mark.
Within this area:
- the same fishing rules apply as at Aotea Great Barrier Island (above)
- anchoring is allowed in the controlled area, however, vessel operators are required to check and clean the anchor and chain before moving to another area
- any visible seaweed should be removed and returned to the water in the area, and the anchor and chain should be rinsed.