CRA3 forum on track with plans to improve rock lobster fishing
5 November 2007
The CRA 3 Multi-stakeholder Fishing Forum is on track with plans to improve fishing in Gisborne’s highly valued local red rock lobster fishery (known as CRA 3). Forum members, representing various stakeholder groups, are pleased with the progress of discussions to date and expect to complete a draft management plan by the end of the year.
“We have achieved a number of milestones in recent months and we are moving forward,” says commercial fishing representative Mark Ngata. In July, the Forum agreed to a draft set of “fishery goals” – these goals define what we, the multi-stakeholders, want from the CRA 3 Rock Lobster Fishery.
The Forum has established a “working group” (a sub-group of Forum representatives), which meets regularly to draft a management plan for the CRA 3 Forum. “We are having to voluntarily put in a lot of time and effort, but it’s worth it,” says tangata whenua representative and working group member Gordon Aston. Right now the working group is focused on “what we need to do” to meet the CRA 3 fishery goals.
The working group has a long list of potential tools and they are looking to identify the best ones to achieve the CRA 3 fishery goals. “This is not an easy job, there are so many issues to consider,” says Angus Ngarangioue, a working group member representing Maori recreational fishers. “The recreational sector hasn’t always seen eye-to-eye with other Forum members,” says recreational representative Alain Jorion. “However, we're now back at the Forum table and are focused on finding solutions.”
The working group aims to present a draft management plan to the CRA 3 Forum at the end of November. Each sector’s representatives – customary, recreational and commercial – will have the opportunity to discuss details of the plan with those who they represent and provide feedback to the Forum in the New Year.
With summer approaching, more people will be out along our coast enjoying the warmer settled weather and the CRA 3 Forum members would like to remind all fishers to be responsible when out fishing for rock lobster.
If taking rock lobster under a customary permit, always carry your permit with you when fishing, adhere to the conditions of that permit and remember to report what you caught back to the permit issuer. If fishing recreationally, stay within the bag limit of 6 rock lobster per day, and adhere to the minimum legal sizes of 54 mm tail width for males and 60 mm tail width for females. For commercial fishers, a reminder that the voluntary commercial closure begins on 15th December, so please be sure to stop fishing your gear until 15th January.