Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash is considering a temporary ban on pāua fishing on stretches of beach north of Dunedin.

Fisheries New Zealand last year consulted on proposed changes from south of Blueskin Bay to north of Karitane, including halting recreational and commercial pāua fishing, the prohibition of the harvesting of seven kelp species, set-netting and filleting fish at sea.

The ban on taking recreational pāua would be lifted once the species recovered.

It is understood staff have made their recommendations, which are now being considered by Nash.


The changes have been pushed for years by the East Otago Taiāpure Committee.

Committee chairman Brendan Flack said they expected an answer from the minister within the next few months.

Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash. Photo / Mark Mitchell

The reasons for the proposed closure of pāua fishing was surveys showed a ''steep decline'' in the area in the past decade, he said.

''It's easier to rebuild something before it's fully gone.''

The group had spoken with commercial pāua fishers and they were able to come to an agreement on the plans, he said.

The banning of set nets was proposed because they could be ''indiscriminate'' in what they caught.

The Ministry for Primary Industries did not provide answers to questions yesterday.