Fisheries New Zealand has announced changes to the recreational fishing rules for rock lobster in the Hauraki Gulf/Bay of Plenty rock lobster fisheries from July 1.
In the Hauraki Gulf/Bay of Plenty fishery, known as CRA 2, the recreational daily bag limit has reduced from six spiny rock lobsters per person, to a new daily limit of three.
For the Marlborough/Canterbury rock lobster fishery, known as CRA 5, the recreational accumulation limit has reduced to three daily bag limits (a total of 18 rock lobsters).
Fisheries Management Director Emma Taylor said the changes had been made to support the current rebuild of the CRA 2 rock lobster fishery from low levels, and to help with addressing illegal take in both fisheries.
"We regularly review New Zealand's fisheries to ensure they remain sustainable, and when there is evidence that stocks are low we take action."
In both the CRA 2 and CRA 5 fisheries, a new requirement for telson clipping, which involves cutting the last third of the middle fan of lobster's tail, has also been introduced.
"This is to help easily identify recreationally caught lobster so it can't be traded, sold or bartered. It assists Fisheries Compliance in detecting and deterring illegal take and sale of crayfish," Taylor said.
"Crayfish are highly valued by customary, recreational, and commercial fishers. Our job is to work to find a balance between different communities' needs, and to ensure our fisheries continue to provide for us all and in a sustainable way."
The CRA 2 fishery is subject to a formalised rebuild plan.
Consultation with tangata whenua and key stakeholders from a range of interest groups showed general support for the rule changes.
Summary of the changes:
Hauraki Gulf/Bay of Plenty (CRA 2)
- The recreational daily bag limit is now three spiny rock lobsters per person
- Recreationally caught rock lobsters are required to be telson clipped