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Source: Ministry for Primary Industries

Fishing rules for 15 fish stocks around the country have been updated as part of a twice-yearly review.

The Minister for Oceans and Fisheries, David Parker decided on these changes following a review of science information and a public consultation.

It’s important that any changes provide for current and future generations, and these changes will help ensure there are enough fish in the water for everyone,” says Emma Taylor, director fisheries management.

“These regular reviews allow us to respond to the best available information and evidence. If we know more fish can be harvested sustainably, we can consider increasing catch limits. On the other hand, if stocks aren’t as healthy, we can take action to allow fisheries to recover.

“All 15 stocks reviewed are of high importance to tangata whenua, commercial and recreational fishers, and the wider public.

“The snapper fishery on the North Island’s west coast, which is New Zealand’s second largest snapper fishery, received a lot of public and stakeholder interest with over 8,000 submissions.

“This fishery has been rebuilding and has recovered well following limits imposed on catch in 2005. The Minister for Oceans and Fisheries considered the feedback received, as well as best available information about the health of the fishery and decided on a cautious approach to increasing how much can be caught.

“These increases take a cautious approach while allowing everyone to benefit from the fishery while the stock continues to increase in size. 

“The overall catch limit and allowances will decrease for some other shared fisheries in this sustainability review, including northern red gurnard, east coast South Island blue cod, and northern hāpuku and bass. The decreases will help ensure the long-term sustainability of these important shared fisheries.

Stocks with increased limits include:

  • Ling in the Southland region
  • Gemfish in the South Island and Chatham Rise, and the west coast off Taranaki and Wellington
  • Southern bluefin tuna nationwide
  • Snapper off the west coast of the North Island, Auckland, and Taranaki
  • Red gurnard off the West Coast and top of the South Island

Stocks with reduced limits include:

  • Hoki nationwide
  • Black cardinalfish off the east coast of Northland and Auckland
  • Hapuku and bass off Northland, Bay of Plenty, and the North Island’s east coast
  • Red Gurnard off the east and west coasts of Auckland and Northland, and the Bay of Plenty
  • School shark off Southland and the sub-Antarctic islands
  • The commercial blue cod fishery off Kaikoura, Canterbury, and Otago