New fisheries regulations to rebuild fish stocks within the East Otago Taiāpure, including banning pāua gathering, will take effect next month.
From 12 December it will be an offence to take or possess pāua within the taiāpure. Changes to the regulations also prohibit the use of set-nets, cutting attached kelp, and the filleting of fish at sea in this area.
The Ministry for Primary Industries manager of inshore fisheries, Andrew Bell, says the changes were recommended by the East Otago Taiāpure management committee to improve fisheries within the taiāpure.
"This is a popular fishing area for the community and public feedback supports these changes. We are pleased to be able to support the efforts of the committee to ensure a sustainable fishery for future generations," says Mr Bell.
Surveys undertaken by Te Tiaki Mahinga Kai, a research and monitoring support team for customary protection area managers centred at the University of Otago, show the number of legal sized pāua within the taiāpure has continued to decrease despite cutting the recreational bag limit from 10 to 5 in 2007.
Management committee spokesman Brendan Flack says along with the regulations, control of invasive marine pests and the pāua re-seeding programmes would also continue.
"These measures are needed now to maintain a healthy local fishery for the future," says Mr Flack.
From 12 December the new regulations will:
- close the East Otago Taiāpure to both commercial and recreational pāua fishing
- prohibit harvesting of attached kelp within the taiāpure
- prohibit commercial and recreational use of set-nets within the taiāpure
- require all recreational fishers to hold only whole or gutted fish when fishing within the taiāpure.
The East Otago Taiāpure is situated north of Dunedin extending from Waikouaiti Bay south to Potato Point.