The Kaikōura coastline will reopen to recreational and commercial pāua fishing in 2023.
Following consultation, Oceans and Fisheries Minister David Parker has decided the recreational pāua fishing season will take place from 15 April to 15 June, and commercial fishing will restart from 5 January.
"The decision is based on the best available information and science, as well as feedback from tangata whenua and throughout the community, including the Kaikōura marine guardians, commercial and recreational fishers,” says Emma Taylor, director fisheries management.
"We received nearly 300 submissions on the proposals, which is a testament to the importance of the fishery. The overwhelming majority support recreational fishing taking place in a quieter part of the year.
"We also received widespread support for a year-round reopening of the commercial fishery, which targets pāua in deeper water and in areas away from recreationally popular beds."
The fishery, which was damaged in the 2016 earthquakes, has been allowed to recover but caution was still required to ensure it will be there for future generations to enjoy, Ms Taylor says.
"We’ll continue to closely monitor recreational take during the season to ensure catch settings remain appropriate, and work with all interested parties on longer-term strategies for maintaining and protecting the fishery.
"Catch settings for recreational pāua fishing are yet to be decided and will be announced ahead of the season in April.
"In the meantime, we'd like to remind people that recreational pāua fishing is prohibited. The majority of customary management areas also remain closed to commercial and recreational pāua fishing.
"We encourage anyone who sees suspicious fishing behaviour to report it to 0800 47 62 24."