Law around catching whitebait
The Department of Conservation (DOC) sets the rules around catching whitebait. This includes when you can catch whitebait, and where.
Food safety requirements for whitebait
If you process whitebait for sale, you:
- need to make sure it's safe to eat
- may need to follow legal requirements.
What you need to do
The legal requirements depend on the level of processing that the whitebait catcher or processor is doing. You'll either be doing:
- chilling, washing, and storing ("limited processing of whitebait"), or
- more than chilling, washing, and storing ("limited processing").
Limited processing of whitebait
This is when you only chill, wash, and store whitebait, to keep the fish you caught safe to eat. If this is all you do before you sell your whitebait then you don’t need to register a food control plan (FCP) under the Food Act 2014.
If you do more than limited processing
If you do more than limited processing like preparing whitebait fritters to sell, then you must register a food control plan (FCP). You can use an FCP template – Simply Safe and Suitable.
Fish species that are classed as whitebait
Whitebait are fish that are the young or fry of the following species:
- Galaxias maculatus (inanga)
- Galaxias brevipinnis (koaro)
- Galaxias argenteus (giant kokopu)
- Galaxias postvectis (short jawed kokopu)
- Galaxias fasciatus (banded kokopu)
- Retropinna retropinna (smelt)
Find out more
Who to contact
If you have questions about whitebait food safety rules, email email@example.com