New rules for recreational fishers in Nelson, Marlborough and the West Coast
02 September 2009
Recreational fishers in the Challenger area will soon benefit from more standardised rules.
From 01 October, the minimum legal size of sand flounder will become 25cm instead of 23 cm – standardising it with the other seven species of flatfish in the area.
Alongside this, the amateur set net minimum mesh size for red moki will go from 115mm to 114mm to standardise this with the set net rule for blue moki.
The amateur set net minimum mesh size for butterfish will go from 108mm to 100mm – to standardise this with the majority of other finfish species.
Central Inshore Fisheries Manager for the Ministry of Fisheries, Dan Lees, says the rule changes translate to good old common sense.
“It makes life simpler for fishers and makes it easier to just apply the rules and do what they enjoy doing best – fishing.”
“By having one standard size for all flatfish, it’ll be a lot more obvious if the fish is undersized and should be thrown back to the sea.
“Taking away the 1mm mesh size in terms of the difference between blue and red moki also allows for more fishing opportunities to those wanting to fish in the area.
“Given the constraint of only one net per vessel at any one time, fishers will have a smaller range to choose from and will be able to catch two types of fish with the net instead of one.”
Dan says the reduction in net size for butterfish will also help simplify the current amateur fishing rules.
“We make every effort to ensure we have rules that work for the majority – while still protecting the sustainability of our fisheries.”
The Challenger Fishery Management Area runs from Awarua on the West Coast north around the top of the South Island to Clarence on the South Island’s east coast.