Commercial fishing for freshwater eels in protected areas
Freshwater eel fisheries are managed for sustainability and use through the Quota Management System (QMS) under the Fisheries Act 1996. A key aspect of management under the QMS is the catch limit set by the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, which forms the basis of an Annual Catch Entitlement (ACE) allocated to quota owners. While ACE effectively allocates to fishers a portion of the total catch limit of freshwater eels for a particular Quota Management Area, fishers must also comply with all Fisheries regulations and requirements. These include area closures, size limits and method/gear restrictions that support the sustainability of freshwater eel fisheries by, for example, allowing spawner escapement. However, fishers must also comply with relevant Conservation legislation. A key restriction under that legislation is that commercial fishers may not operate in protected areas managed by the Department of Conservation without a concession, regardless of whether they hold ACE under the Fisheries Act. The following factsheet describes this in more detail.
Download commercial fishing for eels in protected areas factsheet (PDF 1.51MB)