MFish reminds flounder fishers of netting restrictions as season commences
23 March 2009
MFish are reminding flounder fishers to be aware of the new regional bans and other restrictions on set and gill netting as their fishing season starts. These new regulations were introduced last year by the Minister of Fisheries to protect New Zealand’s threatened Hector Dolphins.
“Some recreational gill netting is still permitted around Banks Peninsula from 1 April to 30 September in four designated flounder fishing areas. These four flounder fishing areas can be found within Akaroa Harbour, Lyttelton Harbour, Port Levy and Pigeon Bay” said Peter Hyde, District Compliance Manager MFish, “We have placed 55 signs around Banks Peninsula to show where these flounder fishing areas can be located and the restrictions that apply”
Hector’s Dolphins move out of shallow water during the winter months and into deeper water. It was for this reason that some limited set netting for flounder was permitted.
Mr Hyde said that only flounder nets were able to be used. “A flounder net is made of very light nylon material. While these nets are more effective in catching flounder, they are also more likely to break if a dolphin accidentally does get caught”.
There are many nets that won’t comply with the new regulations. Fishery Officers will remove any non-complying nets that are found and fishers could face a fine.
“I would advise anyone planning on setting a net to contact their local MFish office, or visit our website fish.govt.nz, to get all the information they require to have a successful flounder fishing season” he said.