Download Consultation on Otago Harbour cockle fishery
The MPI is reviewing whether to amend a regulation to allow the commercial harvest of cockles to continue in two parts of Otago Harbour. The fishery has been operating in these two areas under special permit since 2009. The permit has provided for extensive research into the ecological effects of commercial scale harvesting which is information that will help support a significant and sustainable commercial fishery.
The special permit expires this month and commercial fishing of cockles in the harbour will cease to be authorised due to a generic fisheries regulation that prohibits the commercial harvest of some shellfish from the harbour. The original reasons for the regulation are related to food safety (water quality) issues that are no longer relevant and are dealt with by other legislation. Otago Harbour is believed to hold the largest biomass of cockles in New Zealand, with an estimate in excess of 30,000 t of cockles.
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