Seafood will be off the menu for another two years from a popular Northland bay as depleted fish stocks are given time to regenerate.
The Ministry for Primary Industries this week announced Maunganui Bay, also known as Deep Water Cove, on the Cape Brett Peninsula, will be closed to fishing for all species except kina for a further two years.
The rahui does not stop visitors who wish to dive, swim or anchor in the bay, but taking fish, aquatic life and seaweed, except kina, is prohibited.
The two resident hapu, Ngati Kuta and Patukeha ki Te Rawhiti, have requested the rahui continue as they consider more time is required to allow seriously depleted stocks in Maunganui Bay to continue rebuilding. A ban was first put in place in December 2010.
Robert Willoughby, of Ngati Kuta, said the future for the site was bright but first the fishery had to be allowed to grow.
He said the wreck of the navy frigate HMNZS Canterbury was resting inside the designated rahui area.
"That's a real drawcard for the bay. It brings in the fish and then the dolphins and the boaties," he said.
"Maunganui Bay has always been an important customary fishing area for our people. We consider that this further temporary closure will assist with regeneration of fish stocks in the area, not only for customary purposes but also for the benefit of the wider community."
David Scranney, spatial allocations manager at MPI, said kina were excluded from the rahui because information showed they are abundant in Maunganui Bay.
Fishery officers will continue to patrol and enforce the temporary closure. Fines up to a maximum of $100,000 apply to anyone caught breaching it.
Members of the public are encouraged to call 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224) if they see anything suspicious at Maunganui Bay, or elsewhere.
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