Whangateau Harbour cockle and pipi fishery closing
23 March 2010
A three-year closure of Whangateau Harbour to the harvest of cockles and pipi takes effect from Thursday 25 March.
The Fisheries Minister approved the closure last month following a rapid decline in the cockle population caused by a naturally occurring parasite and a bacterial infection.
The harvest closure also covers pipi. There was concern that when the cockle beds are closed, fishers would target pipi and that this increased pressure may affect the sustainability of the pipi beds.
The Ministry of Fisheries is erecting signage to make sure the public is aware of the closure. “The local community has been very supportive with its initiative to put in place voluntary closures in the lead-up to this official closure,” said Greg Keys, Auckland Field Operations Manager.
“Fishery Officers will be active in the area to make sure members of the public know about the closure, and the fact that it relates to both cockles and pipis,” Mr Keys said. “We won’t hesitate to enforce the new rule if required.”
Significant fines can be imposed on fishers who ignore the rules. Serious breaches can result in penalties up to $100,000.
“Fishery Officers can’t do it all on their own,” Mr Keys said. “The summer education programme Every Fish Counts has been highlighted by the vigilance of the public in our fisheries. I’d ask anyone who sees anything suspicious at Whangateau Harbour to call 0800 4 POACHER or 0800 476 224.”