Minister supports locals to rebuild Pukerua Bay fish stocks
8 June 2007
“Reinstating a temporary ban on most fishing methods in Pukerua Bay is an excellent example of Government and the community working together in managing fisheries,” Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton said today.
Jim Anderton reinstated a prohibition on most fishing methods in Pukerua Bay, north of Wellington, today (8 June 2007) for two years, to allow for further rebuilding of fish stocks, particularly paua and kina. Hand-held line fishing is the only method allowed under the prohibition.
An initial temporary prohibition covering Pukerua Bay was introduced in 2002, at the request of Te Runanga o Toa Rangatira (Ngati Toa) and supported by the Pukerua Bay Resident's Association, with the aim of allowing fish stocks in the area to rebuild. The initial two year prohibition was subsequently extended for a further two year period, which expired on 16 December 2006.
“I’m happy to be supporting Ngati Toa kaitiakitanga and helping to rebuild the value of this customary fishing area. It is also important that I support the locals of Pukerua Bay who want to see fish stocks improving in their patch,” Jim Anderton said.
"It is expected that these bans will improve, over time, the availability and size of fish and the health of the marine environment in Pukerua Bay, as well as to help to recognise a customary rähui (ban) that’s in place."
“This is a win-win situation all around – for the fish, the environment, tangata whenua and the community,” Jim Anderton said.
The extension of the temporary closure will run until 7 June 2009. The Ministry of Fisheries will update signs in the area that detail the closed zone and the duration of the closure.
The bay is closed to all fishing, except hand-held line fishing for finfish species. The prohibition, under section 186A of the Fisheries Act, prohibits the taking and disturbing of shellfish; crustaceans such as barnacles, crabs and shrimps; echinoderms including starfish, urchins and sea cucumbers; other marine life and seaweeds. All categories of fishers ─ customary, recreational and commercial fishers ─ are affected by the restrictions.
Hand-held line fishing is excluded from the temporary prohibition because it has a minimal impact on reef floor communities and is popular with local recreational fishers who target tarakihi, blue cod, kahawai and other species.
The area covered by the temporary closure is defined by a line from a point on the coastline east of Wairaka Point (at 41°01.84'S and 174°52.26'E), then north to a prominent rock (at 41°01.68'S and 174°52.26'E), then generally northeast to a point on the coastline at 41°00.94'S and 174°54.96'E, and then generally southwest following the coastline to the point of commencement.