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Pāua 3 and 7 fisheries (PAU 3 and PAU 7) review of daily bag limit and accumulation limit for recreational fishers


Minister's decision for PAU 3 and PAU 7 fisheries

Following consultation, the Minister of Fisheries decided to reduce the:
  • daily bag limit for pāua from 10 to 5
  • accumulation limit from 20 or 2.5kg* to 10 or 1.25 kg*. (* The weight limit applies if the pāua are in a state that is unable to be counted).

The reductions apply to both black foot pāua (Haliotis iris) and yellow foot pāua (Haliotis australis). No more than 5 of each species can be collected per gatherer per day.

The areas covered are PAU 3 (Kaikōura and Canterbury) and PAU 7 (Nelson and Marlborough) fisheries. The new regulations become effective from 12 December 2019.

Reasons for the reductions

The change aims to reduce the risk of serial depletion from shifting recreational fishing after impacts on the pāua populations caused by the 2016 Kaikōura earthquakes. In 2016, the Kaikōura earthquakes caused an uplift of coastline in both PAU 3 and PAU 7. As a result, pāua populations and other intertidal species along these sections of coastline were significantly impacted, with high levels of observed mortality.

About the consultation

Fisheries New Zealand sought feedback on the review of the recreational daily bag limits and accumulation limits in the PAU 3 (Kaikōura and Canterbury) and PAU 7 (top of the South Island) fisheries.

The consultation ran from 22 August to 3 October 2018.

What was proposed?

Existing limits for both fisheries was:

  • a daily bag limit of 10
  • an accumulation limit of 20 or 2.5kg (if the pāua are in a state that is unable to be counted).

It was proposed to reduce these limits. Two options were under consideration. 

PAU 3 and PAU 7 

Daily bag limit

Accumulation limit

Option 1


10 or 1.25 kg*

Option 2


6 or 0.75 kg*

* If the pāua are in a state that is unable to be counted.

The proposals for each stock were assessed in the context of the relevant statutory requirements and the best available information, including the latest scientific information on the status of the stocks, and tangata whenua and stakeholder input. More details are in the consultation document.

Consultation document

Review of recreational regulations in PAU 3 and PAU 7 [PDF, 1.2 MB]

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