Marlborough Sounds closed to blue cod fishing from tomorrow
30 September 2008
The Ministry of Fisheries is reminding recreational fishers that from 1 October 2008 the enclosed waters of the Marlborough Sounds will be closed to blue cod fishing for four years.
“This summer, fishing in the Marlborough Sounds will be different, blue cod are off the menu for a while” Ministry of Fisheries Inshore Fishery Manager Scott Williamson said.
To stop the decline in blue cod numbers the enclosed waters of the Marlborough Sound will be closed to recreational blue cod fishing. This closure does not apply to other fish species caught in the Sounds.
“There will still be plenty of fishing opportunities for people in the Sounds, other popular species like tarakihi and snapper are still available” Scott said.
“People are having success changing their techniques and targeting other species. It would be great if people shared their knowledge and helped out friends and neighbours with ideas and tips.”
“The changes mean residents and visitors need to plan ahead on how and where they are going to fish and if heading to the outer Sounds, to check the weather and carry the right safety gear” said Scott.
Any blue cod that are accidentally caught in the closed area must be returned to the sea immediately. Any blue cod caught outside the closed area, but landed in the Sounds, must be landed whole or gutted.
MFish has produced a brochure for recreational fishers showing the closed area and informing fishers of the new rules. The brochure also has advice for fishers on how to release blue cod they accidentally catch, how to avoid catching blue cod and tips on the best hooks to use when fishing in the Sounds.
Copies of these brochures are available at fishing tackle and sports shops around the region or at the MFish offices in Blenheim and Nelson. An online version is available on the MFish website. Fishery Officers will also be distributing the brochures as they patrol and enforce the closure over the coming summer.
Fishing rules signs around the region have been updated to reflect the closure. In addition temporary signs have been produced and will be put up around the Sounds.
Penalties for breaching the closure include fines of up to $20,000 and forfeiture of boats and fishing gear.
See Also: Recreational Fishing > Blue Cod