Changes to amateur fishing regulations from 1 April 2007
28 March 2007
Minimum sizes for gurnard and trumpeter
The Ministry of Fisheries (MFish) is introducing minimum size limits for red gurnard and trumpeter nationwide to meet recreational fishers concern regarding the sustainability of these fish.
The Fisheries (Amateur Fishing) Amendment Regulations 2007 have set minimum size limits of:
- 25cm for red gurnard
- 35cm for trumpeter.
Previously there was no minimum size limit for either species. The limit for these species has been introduced to give the fish a chance to breed before they can be legally caught.
Amateur fishers will now be required to kill any catfish immediately after catching them. Catfish prey on small native fish and fish eggs, stir up sediment and degrade waterways. They can also survive out of water for long periods and are difficult to kill. This makes it easy for people to spread them to other waterways.
Catfish were introduced to freshwater areas around Auckland in 1877 and have since spread south to Taupo and one isolated area on the west coast of the South Island. They are most often caught in eel nets. The amendment is to stop catfish spreading to other waterways. In addition, commercial fishers will not be able to sell catfish in a live state.
Clarifying bag limits
Amendments will be made to clarify that:
- Undersized fish (including finfish and shellfish) are not counted towards the relevant daily bag limits if returned immediately to the waters from which they were taken
- Finfish of lawful size are not counted towards the relevant daily bag limits if returned immediately to the waters from which they were taken and are likely to survive.
Reduced minimum blue cod size limit for northern fishers
The minimum legal size for blue cod will be reduced to 30cm for amateur fishers in the Auckland Fishery Management Area (from Cape Runaway on the east coast of the North Island, around North Cape and down to Tirua Point in Northern Taranaki).
The previous minimum size limit in this area (33cm) is considered too high as blue cod mature at a smaller size in northern New Zealand.
Shift in the scallop season closure on the northeast coast of the North Island
The scallop season closure will be shifted to 1 April – 31 August from Cape Runaway to North Cape. The season was previously closed from 15 February – 14 July. The season has been shifted to better match the period that scallops are still in good condition for harvesting in this area.
As this change will take effect on 1 April 2007, recreational fishers on the north east coast of the North Island should take care to note the new opening date of the season this year. MFish will be releasing publicity material to ensure that fishers in the area are aware that the opening date for the season is now 1 September, not 15 July.
Prohibition on taking white pointer shark
It will be an offence to take white pointer sharks under the Wildlife Act from 1 April. The regulations for the Southern Region Fishery Management Area (from northern Kaikoura along the east coast of the South Island, Foveaux Strait and up to Jackson Bay on the west coast, including Stewart Island and the Chatham Islands) will be amended to remove the limit of one white pointer shark per day. There was no daily limit for this species in other Fishery Management Areas around the country.
For a full copy of the Amateur Fishing Regulations contact your local MFish office or look under “recreational” - Ministry of Fisheries Internet | Recreational.