Feedback sought for options to reopening Kaikoura’s paua fishery

Photo: NZ Ministry for Primary Industries

Fisheries New Zealand is inviting people to have their say on proposals to reopen the Kaikoura paua fishery.

Allen Frazer, acting director fisheries management, says using the best available science and information, the proposals take a precautionary approach with options that include lowering recreational daily bag limits, increasing the minimum size limit, and introducing a new vehicle and vessel limit.

“We’ve worked closely with tangata whenua and key stakeholders to develop proposals that consider both the long-term health and sustainability of the fishery and the community it serves,” said Mr Frazer. “We know fishing for paua was a popular activity for visitors last season, and we’ve included options for a recreational fishing season that avoids the peak summer period when the region experiences its highest visitor volumes.”

Mr Frazer added that options for lowering the recreational daily bag limit and introducing a new vehicle and vessel limit would further restrict recreational catch, while allowing people to “fish for a feed and not for the freezer.”

“Proposals to increase the minimum legal size for recreationally caught paua would provide greater protection for spawning biomass, and also align with limits for the commercial paua fishery.”

Also included are proposals to reopen the area to limited commercial and recreational fishing of all shellfish and most seaweed species, and permanently reopen the commercial pāua fishery.

“A new independent recreational fishing survey would be carried out to allow the effectiveness of the recreational management measures to be monitored,” said Mr Frazer. “With a focus on the long-term, we’re also asking people for feedback on exploring possible alternative tools to manage the recreational pāua fishery at Kaikoura like tagging or catch reporting such as those used for overseas abalone fisheries.”

The proposals cover the Kaikoura Marine Area and the northern coastline to Marfells Beach and Cape Campbell.

“We encourage anyone with an interest in this important shared fishery to have their say,” says Mr Frazer.

Consultation started on Monday, October 31, and will close at 17:00 local time on Wednesday, November 30. More information, including how to submit feedback, is available here.


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