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Proposed closures to harvesting of pāua at Huriawa Peninsula and Mapoutahi Peninsula

Update - 16 September 2016

Minister's decisions

Following consultation, the Minister for Primary Industries has made decisions on 2 area closures within the East Otago Taiāpure. These are extending the closure for pāua fishing around Huriawa Peninsula and closing an area around Mapoutahi Peninsula to pāua harvest.

The Minister considers that closing these areas to pāua harvest will allow the abundance of pāua stocks within these areas to improve. Surveys indicate that the inshore biomass of pāua within the Taiāpure continues to decline, that a closure is an effective way of ensuring that sustainability is not being affected by fishing, and is easily understood and effective to enforce.

No end date will be placed on the closures, the stocks will be periodically surveyed every 2 to 3 years and MPI will work with the Taiāpure committee to monitor the stocks. The information supporting the closure will be reviewed within 3 years.

The closures will come into effect on 29 September 2016.

The Minister's decision letter provides the details of, and the reasons for, each of his decisions. Further information can be found in the decision document.

Consultation background

The East Otago Taiāpure Committee recommended to the Minister for Primary Industries that the existing temporary closure at Huriawa Peninsula regarding the take of pāua be renewed and extended to cover a slightly larger area. The committee also recommended a new temporary closure regarding the take of pāua at Mapoutahi Penisula.

Written submissions about this recommendation were invited from those with an interest in the species concerned or in the effects of fishing in the specified area.

What's being proposed?

Surveys of the Huriawa Peninsula closed area and the remainder of the taiāpure suggest pāua stocks in the closed area are stable or have recovered slightly, however pāua numbers in the areas outside the closure have declined. The surveys also show that the densities of pāua at Mapoutahi Peninsula are the lowest in the taiāpure. 

The Committee requested the Minister for Primary Industries:

  1. Renew the closure around Huriawa Peninsula to pāua harvest.
  2. Close the area around Mapoutahi Peninsula to pāua harvest.

The Committee also requested the seaward boundary of the Huriawa Penisula closure be extended to include some small offshore reefs. The closures would be under section 11 of the Fisheries Act 1996, and would address sustainability concerns at these two sites while the Committee develops proposals to address the overall decline in pāua numbers across the wider taiāpure.

Consultation documents

You can also request a copy of the discussion paper by email or post.

Making a submission

Consultation on the proposed changes closed at 5pm on 1 August 2016.

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 the grounds for withholding information 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.