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 can seriously affect local fisheries. This means it is important for all fishers to act responsibly and help conserve the resource.
Know the limits
Commercial fishers taking fish for sale must have a current fishing permit and are subject to the Quota Management System with 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 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.
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. Fish taken alive should be handled with wet cotton or rubber gloves or at least wet hands and returned to the water 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 or use a larger hook size.
These notes provide a guide to the regulations which may be subject to change without notice. For full details on amateur fishing restrictions, contact your nearest Ministry for Primary Industries office or check the recreational section of this site. A complete copy of the legislation can be obtained from Bennett’s Government Bookshops.