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Southern Rock Lobster Quota Cuts Welcomed

The Forest and Bird Protection Society today welcomed the Minister of Fisheries' decision to cut the rock lobster quota for Otago and Southland by 20 percent.

Society spokesperson, Barry Weeber, said the rock lobster stock in the south of New Zealand was in a sorry state and needed rebuilding.

"The fishery has declined to around 5 percent of what it was originally and is one of the most heavily depleted fishery in New Zealand."

Mr Weeber said the 20 quota percent cut this year comes on top of an earlier 20 percent cut 2 years ago. "The likelihood is that further reductions will be required to restore the population."

Mr Weeber said in the south the minimum legal size does not protect breeding lobsters as they don't start breeding until well above the minimum size.

"On the Otago coast a historic size concession means they can be taken several years before they start breeding."

Mr Weeber said that in the long term the minimum legal size for lobster in the south needs to be changed to effect rational management.

For further information contact: Barry Weeber (04)385-7374 or (025)622-7369

Barry Weeber Senior Researcher Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society PO Box 631 Wellington New Zealand Phone 64-4-385-7374 Fax 64-4-385-7373 www.forest-bird.org.nz


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