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Amendment to the regulation to allow the commercial harvest of cockles to continue in 2 parts of Otago Harbour

Have your say

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is consulting on behalf of the Minister for Primary Industries, on whether to amend a regulation that restricts commercial harvesting of cockles in Otago Harbour.

The amendment will allow the commercial harvest of cockles to continue. Commercial harvesting has been authorised since 2009 in 2 parts of the harbour under special permit.

MPI wants your feedback on the following 2 options:

  • Option 1 (preferred) - amend the regulation to allow commercial cockle harvesting in the 2 areas, currently subject to the special permit, or
  • Option 2 (status quo) - not amend the regulation.

Full details are in the consultation document.

Background to consultation

Commercial harvesting of cockles has been allowed in 2 areas of Otago Harbour under special permit since 2009. The permit has provided for extensive research into the ecological effects of commercial-scale harvesting, which is information that will help support a regionally important sustainable commercial fishery.

The special permit expires this month (January 2017) and commercial fishing of cockles in the harbour will cease to be authorised due to a generic fisheries regulation that prohibits the commercial harvest of some shellfish from the harbour. The original reasons for the regulation are related to food safety (water quality) issues that are no longer relevant and are dealt with by other legislation. Otago Harbour is believed to hold the largest biomass of cockles in New Zealand, with an estimate in excess of 30,000 tonnes of cockles.

Consultation document

Making a submission

Email your feedback on the proposed changes by 5pm on 15 February 2017.


While we prefer email, you can post your submission to:

Inshore Fisheries Management
Ministry for Primary Industries
PO Box 2526
Wellington 6140.

Make sure you include in your submission:

  • the title of the consultation document in the subject line of your email
  • your name and title, if applicable
  • your organisation's name (if you're submitting on behalf of an organisation or a company)
  • your contact details (for example, phone number, address and email).

Submissions are public information

Any submission you make becomes public information. Anyone can ask for copies of all submissions under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA says we must make the information available, unless we have a good reason for withholding it. You can find those grounds in sections 6 and 9 of the OIA. Tell us if you think there are grounds to withhold specific information in your submission. Reasons might include, it's commercially sensitive or it's personal information. However, any decision MPI makes to withhold information can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may require the information be released.