Every fisherman has a hard-luck story about the one that got away.

But today, boaties across Auckland are being asked to do just that to support Coastguard, the charity saving lives at sea.

In a novel twist on the traditional bucket donation, Coastguard is not asking boaties to donate cash - they are being asked to donate a fish.

Fishermen coming off the water around Auckland boat ramps will be able to donate what they have caught.


Coastguard will keep those fish on ice overnight, and auction them at Silo Park from midday tomorrow.

"This is something entirely new for us and we are hoping for a great turn out," Ray Burge, Coastguard's northern region operations manager, said. "It is a relatively easy thing to do to support a great cause."

The auction's proceeds will go directly to supporting Coastguard. It means Kiwis get to keep doing what they love, be that catching or eating fish - all the while supporting the service that looks out for them on the water.

"It is not just the fishermen and women who can enjoy the day, anyone who likes to eat fish can make an important contribution too."

Coastguard is encouraging local boaties to get out on the water today and drop off any spare freshly-caught, legally-sized fish.

The fish will be collected between 7am-11am and 5pm-7pm at public boat ramps at Half Moon Bay, Takapuna, Westhaven, and The Landing (Okahu).

The fish will be available for purchase at auction tomorrow at the Silo Park Produce Market, from 12pm to 3pm.

And in true fisherman style - it is a donation you can exaggerate about later.

For more information about how to take part, visit donateafish.co.nz