Hicks Bay (Wharekahika) Closed to Taking of Shellfish
14 February 2002
Hicks Bay (Wharekahika) has been temporarily closed to the taking of shellfish, including rock lobster and kina, to allow the shellfish resources of the area to rebuild.
The closure, which took effect from Saturday 8 February 2003, was requested by the local Wharekahika Maori Committee and approved by the Minister of Fisheries, Hon Pete Hodgson, under Section 186A of the Fisheries Act 1996.
The Committee asked for the closure at the behest of the local whänau, hapu and divers, who were concerned that the depletion of seafood stocks in this area meant an essential provision on the tables at hui, tangihanga, cultural events and homes was no longer sustainable.
Although whanau and hapu had continued to maintain kaitiakitanga over these coastal waters, an increase in fishing effort and the advent of modern fishing techniques had resulted in the area being badly depleted of shellfish.
Considerable consultation took place before the Minister made the decision to impose a ban on the taking of shellfish, and gave the Committee an opportunity for input and participation into the decision-making process.
For further information please contact:
Honore Chesley, Chair, Wharekahika Maori Committee
Telephone 06 8644 894
Fax 06 8644 503, email hönore_arapeta@hotmail.com