Change to Mussel Catch Limit at Mount Maunganui Mataitai Reserve
12 January 2009
From Thursday 14 January, the catch limit for mussels in the Mataitai Reserve at the base of Mauao/Mount Maunganui is reduced to 25 per person per day.
The previous maximum number was 50. The decision was made by Tangata Kaitiaki who have the responsibility to manage harvesting within the Mataitai Reserve by implementing appropriate bylaws on seafood catch limits, catch size and harvesting methods. The bylaw effecting this change was gazetted by Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley late last year.
“The reduction in catch limit stems from a longstanding drive to sustain the green lipped mussel population in the region,” said Tauranga Moana Fisheries Iwi Committee Chairman Brian Dickson.
The protection and enhancement of kaimoana stocks for generations to come is very important to tangata whenua. With the holiday season upon us and many visitors coming to Mount Maunganui, the message Tangata Kaitiaki are conveying is “Don’t forget to leave some kaimoana for your mokopuna”. This is closely aligned with the theme of the Ministry of Fisheries’ summer awareness campaign, Every Fish Counts.
Ministry Field Operations Manager Brendon Mikkelsen said the reduced bag limit would be monitored and enforced by Fishery Officers.
“We will draw fishers’ attention to the new maximum number and won’t hesitate to warn or prosecute anyone taking more than the bag limit. Those breaking the rules can be subject to a heavy penalty. I encourage members of the public to report any suspicious activity to 0800 4 POACHER,” Mr Mikkelsen said.
Tangata Kaitiaki of the reserve have initiated further research and enhancement projects for 2010 in conjunction with the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic seeking to ascertain why particular parts of the rāhui area were not re-established with mussels.
“We also plan to initiate projects within the Mātaitai Reserve to survey other taonga, including paua, kina, koura (crayfish), and the centre-bank pipi bed to aid its management,” said Brian Dickson.
“Tangata Kaitiaki wish to raise community awareness around the sustainability of kaimoana in Tauranga Moana. The goal is to manage harvesting within the Mātaitai Reserve at a level that enables kaimoana stocks to be available for future generations.”
See Also - Mount Maunganui Mataitai Reserve
Every Fish Counts. He kaitiaki tätou katoa