The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has announced changes to catch limits and sustainability measures for 18 fish stocks as part of the regular twice-yearly fisheries sustainability review.
As part of the review, the current closure of some fisheries off the coast of Kaikōura which was due to expire on 20 November 2017 will be extended.
MPI's Acting Director of Fisheries Management Steve Halley says the current closure was put in place in response to the November 2016 earthquake and applies to all shellfish and seaweed (excluding rock lobster and scampi) in Kaikōura and Cape Campbell.
"MPI established a scientific research programme to help fisheries managers understand the impact of the earthquake. It has been decided to set a new closure to extend the current closure until the results of that programme start to become available in the middle of next year. This will continue to protect the earthquake-affected fisheries from fishing-related pressure.
"The decision reflects feedback from fishers from all sectors throughout the consultation to exercise caution in order to maintain sustainability of these important fisheries."
Catch limits for neighbouring pāua fisheries have also been reduced.
"This takes into account the significant area of pāua habitat no longer available in the Kaikōura – Cape Campbell area. Lowering catch limits in these neighbouring fisheries will ensure they will not be put under too much pressure."
Other changes include:
- Decrease to catch limits for bluenose around the country to support the rebuild currently in progress and support sustainability.
- Decrease to catch limits for hake on the west coast of the South Island because of uncertain scientific information. Additional scientific research is being completed.
- Decrease to catch limits and non-commercial allowances set for pāua in the Chatham Islands to ensure the continued sustainability of that fishery.
- Increase to catch limits for red gurnard on the West Coast of the South Island, because the abundance of gurnard in this region is high.
- Increase to catch limits for red cod in the lower North Island, due to the setting of non-commercial allowances for the first time.
- Increase to catch limits for southern orange roughy, as science suggests a utilisation opportunity for the Puysegur sub-stock.
- Deemed value rates were also amended for 6 fish stocks to encourage balancing of catch with ACE throughout the year.