Whangateau Harbour cockle and pipi fishery to close
25 February 2010
The Fisheries Minister has approved a three-year closure of Whangateau Harbour north of Auckland to the harvest of cockles and pipi. The closure takes effect from 25 March 2010.
In 2009 the cockle population in the harbour declined by about 63 percent. Large cockles were most affected, with those cockles larger than 30 millimetres declining by up to 84 percent. The die-off was the result of an outbreak of a naturally occurring parasite and a bacterial infection.
“The closure is designed to give the cockle beds the best chance of recovery and will avoid any impacts on the harbour’s pipi beds from fishers simply catching pipi instead of cockles,” said Allen Frazer, Ministry of Fisheries Inshore Fisheries Acting Team Leader.
“There is strong support from tangata whenua and the local community for the temporary closure, but some expressed frustration about the time taken to implement the closure. I acknowledge the frustration around timeframes, but there was a process that needed to be worked through and this has now reached an appropriate conclusion.
“I would like to thank the local community for its initiative in putting in place and supporting voluntary closures in the interim,” Mr Frazer said.