Kaipara Harbour scallop season opens on 28 November
24 November 2009
The Ministry of Fisheries is calling on scallop fishers to follow the rules when they go fishing in Kaipara Harbour, where a temporary closure has been in place.
The season for Kaipara scallop gathering runs from 28 November until 31 March next year.
“Fishers need to make sure they know the bag limits, size limits and seasons before they go fishing,” said Northland Field Operations Manager Darren Edwards.
The minimum legal size for scallops in the Auckland and Kermadec area, which includes Kaipara Harbour, is 100 millimetres measured across the widest part of the shell.
The legal bag limit for scallops is 20 per fisher per day. In addition, divers may take an extra bag for each of up to two people on board a boat, provided they are acting as safety people for the divers.
When dredging for scallops, only those actively involved in fishing are entitled to a daily bag limit.
“Stick to the minimum size limits; they are carefully set to make sure there will be enough scallops left for the future,” Mr Edwards said. “Taking undersized scallops could affect this particularly sensitive fishery by reducing the amount of spawning and small scallops contributing to the fishery in future.
“Only take what you need; fish for a feed and not to fill the freezer. The bag limits are set to make sure there will be scallops around to catch in future seasons.”
Fishery Officers and Honorary Fishery Officers will be patrolling and inspecting scallop catches. Fines of $250 to $500 per offence can be imposed on fishers who ignore the rules. Serious breaches can result in penalties of up to $250,000 plus confiscation of diving gear, boats and vehicles.
“Fishery Officers have the job of protecting our fish stocks for future generations; they don’t want to write tickets, but if you ignore the rules you leave them no choice,” Mr Edwards said. “After a bad start to the season in Northland, things seem to have settled down – except for the recent apprehension of divers with undersize scallops at Urquharts Bay.
“If you see people taking more than their fair share, you should report them to Fishery Officers by calling 0800 4 POACHER. They are stealing from you and from future generations.”
The scallop season in the Auckland and Kermadec region, which includes Northland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty, closes on 31 March 2010.
For the fishing area covered by Kaipara Harbour, see http://www.fish.govt.nz/en-nz/Press/Press+Releases+2009/August09/Kaipara+Harbour+closed+for+taking+scallops.htm