Temporary closure of Marsden Bank pipi beds
4 February 2011
The Ministry of Fisheries today announced a two-year closure to the take of pipi from Marsden Bank, Whangarei Heads. The closed area does not include the adjacent Mair Bank.
Gavin Lockwood, Ministry of Fisheries Deputy Chief Executive Fisheries Management, said Patuharakeke Te Iwi Trust Board, on behalf of Patuharakeke Hapū, requested the temporary closure because they consider the Marsden Bank pipi fishery to be seriously depleted.
Temporary closures in North Island waters can be put in place under section 186A of the Fisheries Act 1996 by the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture 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).
Dave Milner of the Patuharakeke Te Iwi Trust Board said the Marsden Bank pipi beds are an important customary resource for Patuharakeke and a healthy stock is vital to enable them to meet their customary obligations and duties.
Mr Milner said Patuharakeke greatly appreciates the widespread support for the closure from the local community, and that the hapū will not issue customary authorisations for the take of pipi from Marsden Bank during the closure period.
“We consider that this temporary closure will allow the Marsden Bank pipi stock to recover and increase the availability for harvest, benefiting the entire community,” he said.
Marsden Bank will be closed to the take of pipi from 17 February 2011 until 16 February 2013.
Fishery Officers will be patrolling the area and will 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 Marsden Bank, or elsewhere.