Wanted – alive and unharmed
The phrase “like a fish out of water” expresses the discomfort someone can feel when they experience something new
Spiny red rock lobster
For fish, shellfish and lobster, being out of their element for too long is a death
Live fish being returned to the water need to be handled carefully if they are to
have the best chance of survival. They should be handled with wet cotton or rubber
gloves, or at least wet hands, and returned to the water very gently. Allow the fish to
slide into the water from as close to the surface as possible. If you discover you are
fishing in an area with large numbers of under-sized fish, move to another spot or
use a larger hook size. Fish, especially shellfish and rock lobster, should be returned
to the water as near as possible to the place where they were found.
Paua can bleed to death if injured as their blood is unable to clot. It is best then to
try to measure their length before removing them. If they’re too small, leave them
where they are. If you return them to the water, place them back where they came
from, with their foot against a surface they can clamp on to. Paua placed on sand
have no chance of survival.
Fish taken in excess of your daily limit, under-sized fish, or fish taken in nets with
under-sized mesh must be returned immediately to the water.