Temporary fishing closure for Maunganui Bay, Bay of Islands
18 November 2010
The Ministry of Fisheries today announced a two-year closure to fishing for all species except kina in Maunganui Bay, which includes Deep Water Cove, on the Cape Brett Peninsula in the Bay of Islands.
Ngati Kuta and Patukeha Hapū ki Te Rawhiti, the two resident hapū, requested that the temporary closure be put in place because of their concern that fishstocks in Maunganui Bay were depleted.
Temporary closures in North Island waters can be put in place under section 186A of the Fisheries Act 1996 at the request of local tangata whenua if the closure will improve the availability and/or size of fisheries resources in the area, or recognise a customary fishing practice in that area, such as a rāhui (closure).
Since March 2009, Ngati Kuta and Patukeha have placed a rāhui over Maunganui Bay to the take of all fish.
Gavin Lockwood, Ministry of Fisheries Deputy Chief Executive Fisheries Management, said kina was excluded from the temporary closure because the available information shows that kina are abundant in Maunganui Bay.
Helen Harte, project manager for the fisheries projects of the two hapū, said that while Maunganui Bay is an important customary fishing area for the tangata whenua of Rawhiti, the hapu also recognise that the area is valued by recreational fishers and divers.
“The two hapū were encouraged by the widespread support they had received from the local community for this initiative,” Mrs Harte said. “We consider that by providing statutory support to the rāhui, this temporary closure will assist with regeneration of fishstocks that are depleted in the area, not only for customary purposes but also for the benefit of the wider community.”
From 1 December 2010 until 30 November 2012, Maunganui Bay will be closed to the take of all fish, aquatic life and seaweed, except kina.
Fishery Officers will patrol and enforce the temporary closure. Fines of up to $100,000 can apply to anybody breaching it. Members of the public are encouraged to call 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224) if they see anything suspicious at Maunganui Bay, or elsewhere.