Skip to content

Review of sustainability measures for fisheries – April 2023 round

Update – 10 January 2023

Proposed rock lobster sustainability measures released

Fisheries New Zealand now welcomes feedback on proposed sustainability measures for Northland rock lobster (CRA 1) for the 1 April 2023 fishing year.

A summary of the proposal is provided in the summary table

Full details are provided in the rock lobster consultation document.

Review of sustainability measures for spiny rock lobster (CRA 1) for 2023-24 [PDF, 1 MB]

This review of Northland rock lobster follows a 2022 High Court judgment on catch limit decisions made for the stock in the 2021-22 and 2022-23 fishing years.

2022 High Court judgment decision for Northland rock lobster [PDF, 413 KB]

Consultation background

Fisheries New Zealand is consulting on proposed changes to sustainability measures for a range of fish stocks as part of the 2023 April sustainability round. We invite feedback from tangata whenua, stakeholders, and the public on these proposed changes.

About the proposed changes

Fisheries New Zealand reviews catch limits for selected stocks twice a year. This is consistent with the purpose of the Fisheries Act 1996 to allow for sustainable utilisation.

Fisheries New Zealand is currently reviewing:

  • catch limits, allowances, and recreational daily bag limits for pāua across the lower and central North Island (PAU 2)
  • a proposed s11 closure and catch limits and allowances for scallops in Coromandel (SCA CS)
  • measures to restrict dredging for kina in Tory Channel, Marlborough Sounds.

The proposals for each stock in this round were assessed:

  • in the context of the relevant statutory requirements
  • using the best available information, including the latest scientific information on the status of the stocks and tangata whenua and stakeholder input.

Full details are provided in the consultation documents. This web page also has a summary table of the proposals

Serious scallop decline prompts emergency closure of Coromandel fishery – Government media release

Consultation documents

Review of sustainability measures for pāua (PAU 2) for 2023/24 [PDF, 691 KB]

Review of sustainability measures for scallop (SCA CS) for 2023/24 [PDF, 1.1 MB]

Review of commercial kina dredging in Tory Channel / Kura te Au, Marlborough Sounds [PDF, 974 KB]

Making your submission

Submissions close at 5pm on Wednesday, 8 February 2023.

To make your submission, use this form [DOCX, 79 KB]

Email your completed form to

While we prefer email, you can post written submissions to:

2023 Sustainability Review
Fisheries Management
Fisheries New Zealand
PO Box 2526
Wellington 6140
New Zealand.

If you require hard copies of the consultation document or any other information, email

Summary table of the proposals

This table summarises the fish stocks and measures that are under review as part of the April 2023 sustainability round.

Abbreviations used in the table are:

  • TAC: Total allowable catch.
  • TACC: Total allowable commercial catch.


Stock (area)


Rationale for review

Rock Lobster




Rock lobster stocks support important shared fisheries. Rock lobsters are ecologically important, a taonga for tāngata whenua, a popular species for recreational fishers to catch, and support valuable export markets, regionally important industries, and employment. Fisheries New Zealand, with input from the National Rock Lobster Management Group (NRLMG), is consulting on possible changes to sustainability measures for rock lobster in CRA 1 for the 1 April 2023 fishing year. This review follows a recent High Court judgment in relation to catch limit decisions made for CRA 1 in the 2021-22 and 2022-23 fishing years. Fisheries New Zealand is proposing options to reduce the TAC, allowances, TACC and recreational daily limit in accordance with the findings in the judgment.



Coromandel Hauraki Gulf, and Western Bay of Plenty



Area closure under s 11 of the Act

The Coromandel scallop stock supports a shared fishery which is highly valued by tangata whenua and stakeholders. Most of SCA CS was closed to fishing from 1 April this year due to sustainability concerns, with 2 discrete areas left open to fishing (one at Little Barrier Island and one in the Colville Channel). Camera-based surveys carried out this year in these areas have shown serious declines in scallop abundance for both sites since the last surveys in 2021. Because of these declines, the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries has decided to implement an emergency measure under section 16 of the Fisheries Act 1996 to immediately close these areas to fishing. This measure has been implemented to mitigate the risk of further impact from fishing activity on remaining scallop populations and habitat over the upcoming summer period until longer-term measures are in place. Fisheries New Zealand is now consulting on longer-term measures to support the recovery and sustainability of scallops in SCA CS after the emergency measure has lapsed. This includes options to close both areas under section 11 of the Fisheries Act, and an option to change the TAC, allowances, and TAC of SCA CS from the 1 April 2023 fishing year.



East Cape, Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa, Wellington, and Taranaki



PAU 2 is a shared fishery highly valued by customary Māori, recreational, and commercial fishers. The stock covers a large area – all of the lower and central North Island. Fisheries New Zealand is proposing to set a TAC and allowances for the 1 October 2023 fishing year, noting that only a TACC is currently set. Fisheries New Zealand is also proposing options to address recreational harvest pressure following concerns of localised depletion across many areas.


Tory Channel, Marlborough Sounds

Prohibition of dredging under s 11 of the Act

Benthic habitats in the Tory Channel support significant marine communities which provide shelter, protection, and resources for a range of marine species, including taonga and species of importance to fisheries. Fisheries New Zealand is seeking feedback on whether commercial kina dredging in Tory Channel should be prohibited under section 11 Sustainability Measures of the Fisheries Act 1996. This prohibition would aim to avoid, remedy, or mitigate any adverse effects of this fishing method on the aquatic environment and to maintain biological diversity in the area.

Legal overview

Our legal overview of sustainability measures provides the main legal requirements as they relate to decision-making on sustainability measures. It also references the relevant provisions in the Fisheries Act 1996.

Legal overview of sustainability measures [PDF, 369 KB]

Related information

Fisheries Act 1996 – NZ Legislation

Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act 2000 – NZ Legislation

About the Quota Management System (QMS)

The Harvest Strategy Standard

Operational Guidelines for New Zealand's Harvest Strategy Standard [PDF, 843 KB]

The Deemed Values Guidelines [PDF, 1.4 MB]

Glossary of relevant terms

National Fisheries Plan for deepwater and middle-depth fisheries [PDF, 1.4 MB]

Regional plan provisions and policy statements [PDF, 352 KB]

Submissions are public information

Note that all, part, or a summary of your submission may be published on this website.

People can also ask for copies of submissions under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA says we must make the content of submissions available unless we have good reason for withholding it. Those reasons are detailed in sections 6 and 9 of the OIA.

If you think there are grounds to withhold specific information from publication, make this clear in your submission or contact us. Reasons may include that it discloses commercially sensitive or personal information. However, any decision MPI makes to withhold details can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may direct us to release it.

Official Information Act 1982 – NZ Legislation