Fisheries New Zealand is inviting people to have their say on a draft Fisheries Plan to help restore and protect the Hauraki Gulf.
Director fisheries management, Emma Taylor, says this is one of the key long-term fisheries management actions in the Government's strategy, Revitalising the Gulf, which seeks to restore the waiora and mauri of one of New Zealand's most important marine environments.
"The draft Fisheries Plan has 3 outcomes focused on the environment, sustainable utilisation, and better governance, and includes new approaches for managing fisheries in the Hauraki Gulf.
"It seeks to support sustainable fisheries and the recovery and protection of key habitats and species, as well as encouraging greater local input to strengthen fisheries management and support a healthier Gulf for generations to come."
The draft Plan proposes a range of integrated management actions including:
- removing bottom trawl and Danish seine fishing except within limited areas or "trawl corridors" (subject to further consultation by mid-2023)
- improved management of scallop fisheries in the Hauraki Gulf
- restoring fisheries abundance to address localised depletion
- reviewing the management of intertidal harvesting
- supporting greater mana whenua and regional participation in fisheries management.
"Underlying these proposals is a commitment to an ecosystems-based fisheries management approach. We recognise that all species in the fishery are connected and interdependent and this is reflected in the draft Plan."
The draft Plan will be supported by the development of fisheries indicators and a monitoring framework to measure progress over time. If approved, it will be New Zealand's first area-based fisheries plan.
"We encourage everybody with an interest in this national taonga to read the proposals and provide feedback."
Consultation begins today, 17 January 2023, and will close at 5pm on 3 March 2023.