Challenger area fishing rules

Recreational fishing rules for the Challenger area, including closures, restrictions, and other important notices.


Southern Scallop Fishery and Port Underwood

  • The Marlborough Sounds, Tasman Bay, Golden Bay and Port Underwood are closed to scallop fishing from 15 July 2018 until further notice.


Due to the earthquake of 14 November 2016, fisheries in the Kaikōura and Cape Campbell regions are closed:

  • Collection of shellfish and seaweed is prohibited between Marfells Beach and the Conway River out to a distance of 4 nautical miles.
  • This closure does not apply to rock lobster, scampi or octopus. These may be gathered in this area.

Find out more

Details of closures, including maps of the closed areas, are in the box called 'Closures and restrictions'

What you need to know

Map of Challenger fishing area
The Challenger fishing area.

This area extends along the West Coast of the South Island north of Awarua Point, and around to Clarence Point on the east coast.

All recreational fishing – including potting, netting and all other fishing methods – is covered by rules.

Remember, if you're a recreational fisher, selling any fish or shellfish you catch is illegal.


Ways to check the rules

This page has a summary of:

You can also check rules in our brochures, use the free NZ Fishing Rules app, or text us. You'll also see signs about rules at many fishing spots.

Get a brochure

Other languages

Download the free NZ Fishing Rules app

Or free text "app" to 9889 to be sent the links to your phone. Once installed, the app will work without an internet connection.

Use our free text service

Send a free text to 9889 with the name of a species.

For example, text "blue cod" or "pāua" to 9889. You'll be sent legal bag and size limits for that species by return text.


Report poaching

Report poaching, suspicious, or illegal activity – call 0800 4 POACHER (0800 47 62 24) or email

You can help us by providing:

  • the location
  • vehicle/trailer registration number
  • boat name
  • description of the person

When reporting any suspected poaching put your personal safety first. All calls and personal details are treated as confidential.

It is illegal to buy, sell or swap recreationally caught seafood

These are offences against the Fisheries Act which can result in fines up to $250,000.

Follow us on Facebook

We have some regional pages to bring you information about the fishing rules and how we manage and protect local fisheries.

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