The largest snapper fishing tournament in the Southern Hemisphere could bring $1 million into Northland's economy with profits made from selling the fish going to charities, the new organiser of the event says.
The Century Batteries Beach and Boat Fishing Competition based in the Marsden Cove Marina kicked of at 5.01am this morning and continues tomorrow.
Nicky Sinden, the new organiser of the event along with Candice Lawson, said so far 1500 people had entered but the event could cater for 2000 people.
"It's massive. I would estimate that it would be over $1m going into Northland's economy if you think about it. There's at least 300 boats going out, fuelling up, purchasing food and drinks and ice and bait and accommodation. Then there's the land-based fishermen.
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"We've booked out an entire motel just for [our] staff," she said.
Ms Sinden said all the fish weighed in would be sold legally through the Ministry for Primary Industries in conjunction with Salty Dog and 100 per cent of the profits, which could range between $10,000 to $15,000, would go to charities, including One Tree Point, the local Coastguard, and the Westpac Helicopter Trust.
Ms Sinden said there were three different platforms people could fish from - boat, kayak and land.
Within each of those categories were prizes for first, second or third for all size species including snapper, kingfish, trevally, kahawai and John Dory (for the boat and kayak section). There are also categories for the kids.
Ms Sinden said she wanted to take over the competition because she loved fishing.
"I've been five times over the years and it means a lot to me and the fishing industry."
Competition boundaries extend from Bream Tail in the south to Homepoint at Whangaruru in the north, and out to and including Sail Rock, the Hen and Chicken Islands and the Mokahinau Islands.