MPI is appealing to recreational fishers to fish responsibly in Kaikōura this summer to help the rock lobster (crayfish) fishery recover from the recent earthquakes.
On Friday Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy announced that the temporary emergency closure of the rock lobster (crayfish) fishery along the east coast of the South Island will be officially lifted at 5pm on Tuesday 20 December.
"A scientific survey carried out after the earthquakes indicated the rock lobster fishery has come through in relatively good shape but we still need to look after it", says MPI Acting Director Compliance, Gary Orr.
"Although the fishery is reopened, we really encourage people to maybe consider limiting their take over summer. Only take what you need. As Minister Guy said, we all have to play our part to give this valuable fishery the best chance to recover."
"It’s also possible that people may choose not to fish in the Kaikōura area at all over the summer and fish elsewhere instead. This may mean greater numbers fishing in areas outside the closure and that could put pressure on these areas. So the message really applies around the country – fish responsibly and only take what you need."
A closure notice is still in effect for all remaining shellfish and seaweed species up to 20 February 2017 at 5pm. Scampi and finfish are excluded from the closures.
"MPI will continue to have additional fishery officers along the Kaikōura coast to ensure compliance with the rules and the closures. Our message is very clear: if you break the law, you’ll face the consequences."
If you notice any suspicious activity, call MPI on 0800 4 POACHER (0800 47 62 24) or email email@example.com to report it.
The daily bag limit for rock lobster in this fishery is 6 for recreational fishers.