Play Your Part To Conserve The Resource
Fishing is one of New Zealand’s most popular recreational activities. Every year a large number of finfish, rock lobster and shellfish are taken by recreational fishers. This means it is important for all fishers to act responsibly and help conserve the resource.
Know the limits
Commercial fishers must have a current fishing permit and are subject to strict quotas or limits on how much they can catch, along with many other controls. The restrictions on recreational fishers are relatively simple. The three main things to remember are:
- Don’t take more than the daily limit.
- Don’t take undersized fish
- Don’t sell or trade your catch
Only those physically involved in taking finfish, rock lobster, or shellfish are entitled to claim a catch within the daily limit. You should also be aware of the restrictions on the fishing gear and methods you can use. (Refer Finfish Method Restrictions section)
In some areas recreational fishers can only use rod and reel or hand lines. Hand lines are considered to be a dropper type rig on a hand spool or stick as available from most sports goods stores.
Alive and unharmed
Unlawfully taken fish (such as fish taken in excess of your daily limit, undersized fish, or fish taken with undersized mesh) must be immediately returned to the water, whether the fish were caught intentionally or as by-catch. Fish taken alive should be handled with wet cotton or rubber gloves or at least wet hands and returned very gently, allowing the fish to slide into the water from as close to the surface as possible. It is important to return fish, especially shellfish and rock lobster, as near as possible to the place where they were found. Dead fish that are taken unlawfully must also be returned to the water. If you encounter large numbers of undersized fish then change locations, use a larger hook size or mesh size.
Accumulated Bag Limits
Where fishing occurs over a number of days and/or travel crosses into areas that have sub limits or size differences, it is permissible to possess more fish than the bag limit allows for the area or fish less than the size for that particular area where you are found, provided you can prove the fish in question were taken lawfully, in the appropriate area and if necessary on the appropriate day or days.