Hawke's Bay will have better control over its local fisheries following a Court of Appeal ruling, a regional councillor has said.
The court of appeal has upheld an environment court decision on Monday, which allows regional councils to put in place fishing restrictions in order to protect an area's environment.
"The decision puts protecting the region's fish and marine ecosystem in the hands of people living in Hawke's Bay."
He said HBRC can now seriously consider controls and restrictions, such as not allowing juvenile snapper to be fished below 50m, and protecting snapper in the Wairoa Hard area.
However, Kirton said there was the possibility to look at going one step further, and putting restrictions on commercial fishing for the entire bay, for Mahia to Cape Kidnappers.
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He said this could include putting specifications around species which can be fished, or fishing methods, for those commercial operations fishing in Hawke Bay.
President of the Hawke's Bay Sports Fishing Club, Neil Price, said any restrictions benefitted all fishers, as they increased stocks.
"Any restriction which helps the breeding of stock is going to be better for everybody in the long, long run.
"There are not many restrictions at the moment, so if we can boost our stock, that is going to be better for both recreational and commercial."
He said over the years the club had noticed a decline in stocks.
"We all want our children and grandchildren to keep fishing in the future, so we see it as a positive."
He said the club already had a good working relationship with regional council, and so would be happy to work with them on any proposals.
The Court of Appeal decision relates to an Environment Court decision made in 2016.
At the time, the Environment Court ruled regional councils had the power to restrict fishing specifically to protect the indigenous environment.
The decision was appealed by the Crown.
A spokesperson for Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash said the minister had only just received the Court of Appeal decision and would take time to consider it carefully.
"Preliminary advice indicates that the Crown's position has been largely adopted by the Court of Appeal, in particular the five indicators to assist a Council decide how to control marine resources.
"Fisheries NZ and other agencies including the Ministry for the Environment and the Department of Conservation will work with Crown Law to assess the implications of the judgment."