Update – 27 November 2019
Following consultation, the Minister of Fisheries has decided to approve the regulation changes recommended by the East Otago Taiāpure Management Committee, which:
- close the East Otago Taiāpure to both commercial and recreational pāua fishing
- prohibit harvesting 7 species of attached kelp: Durvillaea antarctica, D. willana, Ecklonia radiata, Macrocystis pyrifera, Marginariella boryana, Marginariella urvilliana and Lessonia variegata within the taiāpure
- prohibit commercial and recreational use of set-nets within the taiāpure
- require all recreational fishers to hold only whole or gilled/gutted fish when fishing within the taiāpure.
Regulations have been amended and the changes come into force on 12 December 2019.
Background to the consultation
Fisheries New Zealand consulted on a package of fisheries regulation changes recommended to the Minister of Fisheries by the East Otago Taiāpure Committee. They were:
- temporary closure to recreational pāua fishing
- closure to commercial pāua fishing
- prohibiting the harvesting of 7 species of kelp
- prohibiting the use of set nets
- prohibiting filleting of fish at sea.
We wanted your feedback on the proposals, which were detailed in the consultation document. Consultation ran from 26 October to 7 December 2018.
Background to the proposals
Under the Fisheries Act 1996, the committee has the power to recommend regulations for the conservation and management of fish, aquatic life or seaweed in the area covered by the taiāpure.
The committee has held concerns for the pāua fishery within the taiāpure since it was established in 2001. Since then, 2 areas have been closed to pāua fishing and the recreational bag limit has been reduced from 10 to 5. Despite these measures, surveys by Otago University have shown that pāua numbers continue to decline.
These proposals were intended to support the committee objectives to:
- ensure access to abundant fisheries
- promote the use of customary management
- avoid, remedy or mitigate impacts of human activities.
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