Review of recreational management measures for the CRA 5 (Canterbury/Marlborough) rock lobster fishery

Closing Date:
Contact: Inshore fisheries management

Have your say

Fisheries New Zealand is seeking feedback on measures proposed by the National Rock Lobster Management Group for recreational fishers in the CRA 5 (Canterbury/Marlborough) rock lobster fishery to discourage the illegal take and sale of rock lobsters.

The National Rock Lobster Management Group includes representation from customary, recreational and commercial fishing interests, and Fisheries New Zealand. The group advises the Minister of Fisheries on rock lobster management matters.

The proposed measures involve introducing telson clipping and an accumulation limit in the fishery.

The consultation will run from 22 August to 3 October 2018. 

Consultation document

Proposed measures for the CRA 5 rock lobster fishery [PDF, 889 KB]

If you can't open the document or would like printed copies, email

Summary of proposals

map of CRA 5 Quota Management and Kaikoura Marine Management Areas
CRA5 Quota Management Area (striped) and the Kaikōura Marine Management Area (dark blue)

It is proposed to introduce these measures for rock lobster in the CRA 5 Quota Management Area:

  • Telson clipping – recreational fishers are required to clip the last third of the middle part of the tail fan (the "telson") of every legal sized rock lobster that will be kept. This marks a lobster as being recreationally caught, and so is not permitted to be bought, bartered, or traded.
  • An accumulation limit – the number of rock lobsters that a recreational fisher can accumulate is limited to 3 daily bag limits (18 lobsters), provided that the catch for any one day does not exceed the current daily limit of 6 rock lobsters per person.
  • Bag and labelling conditions for a single day's catch to support the accumulation limit.

Download an A4 map of the CRA5 Quota Management Area [PDF, 1.6 MB]

How to make your submission



Background to the proposed measures

rock lobster with one-third of the central telson clipped
Rock lobster with one-third of the central telson clipped

There is a higher than normal risk that poaching and black market activity will occur in the CRA 5 fishery. This is due to a combination of reasons, including:

  • easy access to the fishery because much of the CRA 5 coastline can be reached from the road
  • the fishery is experiencing high levels of stock abundance providing incentives for illegal take by opportunistic fishers.

Illegal fishing can undermine the integrity of the fisheries management regime, reduce the benefits that legitimate fishers can realise from the use of the resource, and contribute to localised depletion.

The aim is to discourage illegal activity

The proposed measures are expected to discourage illegal black market sales of rock lobsters that are destined for the domestic market. Rock lobsters are valuable barter goods and illegally caught lobsters are often sold at a lower price than through legitimate channels, which can encourage local buyers to look for illegal product.

Telson clipping is intended to stop: 

  • the illegal sale of rock lobsters by opportunistic non-commercial fishers who sell or barter their catch for financial gain
  • covert poachers who conceal their activity under legitimate non-commercial fishing.

An accumulation limit is expected to limit the ability to store and transport large quantities of rock lobster where people deliberately exceed the daily bag limit or where the bag limit is consistently taken for potential sale or barter.

Small trial has proved effective

The measures were introduced for recreational rock lobster fishing in a small portion of the CRA5 fishery, known as the Kaikōura Marine Management Area, in August 2014. They were based on initiatives put forward by the Kaikōura Marine Guardians. Telson clipping has been effective in the Kaikōura area in reducing the flow of recreationally caught rock lobsters illegally entering the commercial supply chain (such as restaurants and fish dealers).

Making your submission

Email your feedback by 5pm on 3 October 2018 to

We encourage you to use the submission template. It will help you give feedback.

CRA 5 submission template [DOCX, 68 KB]

While we prefer email, you can post your submission to:

Inshore Fisheries Management
Fisheries New Zealand
PO Box 2526
Wellington 6140.

Make sure you include in your submission:

  • your name and title, if applicable
  • your organisation's name (if you're submitting on behalf of an organisation or a company)
  • your contact details (for example, phone number, address and email).

Submissions are public information

Note, that any submission you make becomes public information. People can ask for copies of submissions under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA says we have to make submissions available unless we have a good reason for withholding it.  That is explained 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 that 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 tell us to release it.

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