Fisheries New Zealand wants people to have their say on proposed rule changes for recreational fishers to assist with rebuilding the CRA2 fishery, which covers the Hauraki Gulf and Bay of Plenty.
Manager of inshore fisheries Steve Halley said under the proposals the number of spiny rock lobsters recreational fishers can take per day would be reduced from six to three.
"As part of the consultation, we also want feedback on introducing telson [tail fan] clipping as a tool to assist with minimising the illegal black market sales of rock lobster," Halley said.
"The proposals follow the decision by the Minister of Fisheries to make a large reduction to the Total Allowable Catch, Total Allowable Commercial Catch and the overall allowance for recreational fishers for the fishery on April 1, 2018.
"These proposed changes are designed to double the number of rock lobster in the area over the next four to eight years.
"The proposed changes to the recreational bag limit will ensure that recreational catch does not exceed the new recreational allowance, particularly as the number of lobsters and recreational catch increases as the fishery rebuilds over next few years.
"We will continue to monitor the fishery as it rebuilds and will consider further changes to management controls as and when needed to make sure all users can get the best from this important shared fishery as numbers of lobster increase, while ensuring its sustainability.
"Extensive consultation with tangata whenua and key stakeholders from all fisheries sectors shows there is general support for reducing the recreational daily bag limit from six to three rock lobsters.
"We've been working with fishers from all sectors – customary, recreational, and commercial, to come up with a plan to rebuild this important shared fishery.
"It's been great to see such a willingness to work together, because a successful rebuild needs input from across the fishing sectors. All users need to play a part in rebuilding this important fishery.
"Consultation closes 19 December 2018 and any rules changes will come into effect by mid-2019.
"In the meantime, we encourage people to fish sustainably over this busy summer period before any rule changes can come into effect. Please take a look at ways you could support the rebuild of the fishery, be it through taking less lobsters or targeting other species," Halley said.
The ministry reminded fishers to always check the rules before going fishing.
For more information about the consultation and to have your say, visit www.fisheries.govt.nz/CRA2