Fiordland’s fisheries need your help!
Every year growing numbers of fishers are visiting Fiordland to experience and enjoy the unique fishing and diving opportunities available. Increased access has led to harvest pressure on popular finfish, rock lobster and shellfish species. Unchecked, fishing pressure within the most accessible fiords has caused local depletion. This is because fishery habitat within the inner fiords is unproductive and some species suffer from poor recruitment, creating a situation where fishing harvest must be carefully managed.
The impact of escalating access and harvest levels on Fiordland’s fish stocks motivated a group of concerned fishers and fiord users to form the Guardians of Fiordland’s Fisheries and Marine Environment in 1995. Through a process of negotiated “gifts and gains” between the recreational and commercial fishers, charter operators, Ngai Tahu and environmentalists, the Guardians developed an integrated management strategy for the Fiordland marine environment. In 2005 the Guardian’s strategy was realised with the establishment of the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Area, incorporating modified fishing rules and marine protection measures. This area lies inside the Southland Fishery Management Area.
Know the limits
The restrictions on recreational fishers are relatively simple.
The 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
- Spread your fishing effort to avoid depletion
- Don’t abuse your recreational entitlement*
*Note: Only those persons physically taking finfish, rock lobster or shellfish are entitled to claim a catch within the daily limit.
All fish taken and consumed during any trip must be counted within the daily limit entitlement.
Fishers should also be aware of the restrictions on closed seasons, closed areas, fishing gear and method prohibitions that may apply within the Fiordland Marine Area and the wider Southland Fishery Management Area.
Alive and unharmed
Unlawfully taken fish (such as fish taken in excess of your daily limit, undersize, unlawful state or fish taken with unlawful gear or method) must be immediately returned to the water, taking all care to ensure the fish is unharmed and returned in the same location where taken. Dead fish that are unlawful must also be returned to the water.
A guide to the law
These notes are provided as a summary guide of applicable law which is subject to change. For full details on amateur fishing restrictions contact your nearest Ministry for Primary Industries office. A complete copy of the relevant legislation (including Acts and associated regulations) is available from Bennett's Government Bookshops.