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Proposed extension of the shellfish and seaweed emergency fishing closure along the Kaikōura and Cape Campbell coastline

Update – 20 February 2017

Minister's decisions

Following consultation, the Minister for Primary Industries has decided to renew the emergency closure that prohibits the harvest of shellfish and seaweed along the Kaikōura and Cape Campbell coastline for a further 9 months.

The closure applies to the harvest of shellfish and seaweed species (excluding rock lobster and scampi) and extends from Marfells Beach (near Ward) south to the Conway River (south of the Kaikōura township) and offshore by 4 nautical miles.

The Minister considers that retaining the closure is critical to providing the best opportunity for these species, particularly pāua, to recover. The latest science information tells us that shellfish in the Kaikōura and Cape Campbell areas have been badly impacted. Habitat has been significantly altered. For example, information suggests that more than 20% of adult pāua habitat in the closed portion of the PAU 3 fishery has been lost due to uplift following the earthquake. The habitat where juvenile pāua live has suffered even greater loss.

The closure renewal will come into effect at 5pm on 20 February 2017 and expire at 5pm on 20 November 2017.

Find out more

Note, personal and commercially sensitive information has been removed from the submissions.

Consultation background

Notice is hereby given that, pursuant to section 16(3) of the Fisheries Act 1996, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is considering an extension of the emergency closure to the take of any species of shellfish and seaweed (excluding rock lobster and scampi) for a further 9 months. The current temporary closure was put in place after the 14 November 2016 earthquake and is due to expire on 20 February 2017.

Reasons for seeking the extension

Shellfish and seaweed stocks within the Kaikōura and Cape Campbell earthquake-affected area have been significantly impacted. There remains a high degree of uncertainty as to the short and long-term implications of this earthquake. These impacts pose sustainability concerns for the fishery and ecosystem in the short-term.

  • Most of the important pāua fishing grounds were affected by the earthquake.
  • The short-term mortality of pāua and other shellfish and seaweed was high in the affected areas.
  • Long-term mortalities cannot yet be estimated.

Consequently, MPI seeks to take a precautionary approach and prohibit harvest of these species until an appropriate management framework (for example, alterations to existing harvest controls) is in place.

Location of proposed temporary closure

The temporary closure includes the South Island fisheries waters between Conway River to Marfells Beach area which is enclosed by a line commencing at a point on Marfells Beach at 41°43.655′S and 174°12.645′E proceeding for about 4 nautical miles in a north-north-easterly direction to a seaward point at 41°39.474′S and 174°14.876′E; then maintaining a constant distance of 4 nautical miles from the coastline at all points until reaching a seaward point at 42°38.153′S and 173°33.378′E (taking mostly a south-westerly direction along the coast); then proceeding in a west-north-westerly direction to a point on land at the Conway River at 42°36.909′S and 173°28.173′E; and then following the mean high water line back to the point of commencement.

Download a map of the proposed closure area

If you can't download the map, email

Making your submission

Submissions closed at 5pm on 31 January 2017.

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.