Fiordland blue cod closures to continue
29 June 2007
“Blue cod fishing closures in Milford and Doubtful Sounds will continue for another two years, to allow stocks there to rebuild,” Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton announced today.
Both Milford and Doubtful Sounds have been closed to amateur blue cod fishing since 2005, following recommendations to the Minister of Fisheries from the Fiordland Marine Guardians. All Fiordland’s inner sounds have been closed to commercial fishing since 2005 and Milford Sound has been closed to commercial fishing since 1994.
The Ministry of Fisheries has been monitoring blue cod stocks in Milford and Doubtful Sounds since the summer of 2005/06, to see how they were responding to the amateur fishing closures.
“We’ve had two summers of blue cod surveys in these sounds, and these show that numbers of the blue cod have not yet built up sufficiently to re-open the fisheries,” Jim Anderton said. “So we’ll continue the closures for another two years and see what the situation looks like then.”
The Fiordland Marine Guardians support this extension of the amateur blue cod fishing closures (through until 29 June 2009). During this time, the fisheries will continue to be monitored by the Ministry of Fisheries.
The Fiordland Marine Guardians is a group of community representatives who advise central and local government agencies on how to manage the Fiordland marine environment. They were formed in 1995 (as the Guardians of Fiordland’s Fisheries Inc), in response to concerns about the escalating pressures on the Fiordland marine area. There were several reasons for those concerns − increasing human activity; the need for improved integrated management of the area; and a desire that the local community be more involved in the management of Fiordland’s marine environment.
The Guardians were given formal recognition with the enactment of the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Management Act 2005. Appointed by the Minister for the Environment, current guardians include commercial and recreational fishers, environmentalists, marine scientists, and community and tangata whenua (Ngai Tahu) representatives.
This decision follows a public consultation process. To read the proposal MFish received submissions on, follow the link below:
Proposed extension to the temporary blue cod amateur fishery closures