Maximum daily limit
- No person may take or possess more than 6 rock lobsters (both spiny and packhorse rock lobster species combined) on any one day within the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Area.
- No person may take or possess more than 3 rock lobsters on any one-day that are taken from within the internal waters of Fiordland. No accumulation applies.
Limits on accumulation
Within the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Area, a limited defence provision exists to allow possession of accumulated rock lobster taken over 3 or more days in excess of the daily possession limit if:
- Not more than 15 rock lobster are possessed; and
- The daily take limit of 6 rock lobster was not exceeded on any day; and
- Not more than 3 rock lobster were taken from the internal waters of Fiordland; and
- The rock lobster are held in labelled containers or bags that:
- contain only rock lobster taken on a single day; and
- are clearly labelled to record
- The individual fisher's full name; and
- The date on which the rock lobster was taken by the fisher; and
- The number of rock lobster held in the container or bag; and
- The number of rock lobster (if any) taken from the internal waters of Fiordland.
Note: Accumulation refers to the aggregation and possession of daily rock lobster catch in excess of more than one day's possession entitlement, which is subject to a 3-day accumulation limit of 15 rock lobster.
Rock lobster may not be possessed seaward of the mean high-water mark in an unmeasurable state.
No person may take or possess:
- Male spiny rock lobster with a tail width less than 54 mm.
- Female spiny rock lobster with a tail width less than 60 mm.
- Packhorse rock lobster (either sex) with a tail length shorter than 216 mm.
How to measure spiny rock lobster
The tail width is measured in a straight line between the tips of the two large (primary) spines on the second segment of the tail, as shown in the diagram:
The sex is easily determined:
- Females have small pincers on the rear pair of legs.
- Pleopods are in paired form on each side of the under surface of female tails, and are in single form in male tails.
If you are unsure of the sex, use the 60 mm measurement and you will be safe.
How to measure a packhorse rock lobster
The tail length of the Packhorse rock lobster is measured along the underside in a straight line from the rear of the calcified bar on the first segment to the tip of the middle fan of the tail.
Protected rock lobster
The following types of rock lobster must be immediately returned to the water:
- Undersized rock lobster.
- Any female rock lobster carrying external eggs (these are carried between the pleopods on the underside of the tail).
- Any rock lobster in the soft shell stage (following moulting where the exoskeleton has not reached full hardness).
- Any rock lobster that cannot be measured (e.g. because of damage to the tail preventing accurate measurement).
It is unlawful to:
- Remove external eggs or the egg-bearing appendages from any rock lobster.
- Use a spear or device, which could puncture the shell when taking rock lobster, or possess any rock lobster, which has been speared.
- Use or set a baited net for taking rock lobsters, or possess any rock lobster with a baited net
It is lawful to use a ring pot, hoop net or bob to take rock lobster.
Only hand operated loops or lassoes may be used to take rock lobster. It is prohibited to use a spring loaded loop or lasso.
Rock lobster pot restrictions
Rock lobster pot means any pot, whether baited or not, that is capable of catching or holding rock lobster; and includes any other device capable of catching, holding, or storing rock lobster except a loop, bob or ring pot.
It is unlawful to:
- Use or set a rock lobster pot unless the pot and the surface buoy or float, attached to the pot and float line are legibly and permanently marked with the fisher's surname and initials. This includes possession on any vessel.
- Set or possess a rock lobster pot unless it has escape gaps as detailed in the 'Escape gaps for rock lobster pots' section.
Rock Lobster pot limits
No person may on any day within the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua)Marine Area
- Possess, use or set more than 3 rock lobster pots.
- Possess on any vessel, or use or set more than 3 rock lobster pots from any vessel.
Escape gaps for rock lobster pots
- No escape gap or aperture shall be incorporated in either the top or the bottom of any pot
- Escape gaps or apertures are designed to allow undersized rock lobster to escape.
- Round or beehive shaped pots must have at least 3 escape gaps/or apertures (other than the mouth). Each aperture must have an inside dimension of not less than 54 mm x 200 mm
- Square or rectangular shaped pots must have at least 2 escape gaps/ or apertures (other than the mouth) in opposite faces of the pot. Each aperture shall not be less than 80 percent of the height or length of the face of the pot in which the apertures are contained. Each aperture shall have an inside dimension of not less than 54 mm x 200 mm.
- Any rock lobster pot constructed entirely of unaltered spot welded mesh with inside dimensions of 54 mm x 140 mm does not have to have escape gaps/ or apertures but the pots must be used without covers or liners or with covers or liners that leave unencumbered at least 80 percent of the surface area of each of 2 opposite sides.
Rock lobster holding pots
Rock lobster holding pot means a pot that is used, or can be used for holding or storing rock lobster but does not include any pot that is capable of catching rock lobster.
- Holding pots are excluded from other rock lobster pot limits and escape gap requirements.
- Limits apply restricting one holding pot per person or a maximum of 2 holding pots per vessel if there are two or more persons.
- Holding pots and attached surface floats used from or transported on a vessel must be clearly and permanently marked with the vessel name and the characters HP1 for the first holding pot and (if applicable) HP 2 for the second holding pot.
- Holding pots and attached surface floats used other than from a vessel must be clearly and permanently marked with the fishers surname, initials and the characters HP.