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No change to bag limits for kahawai fishers

13 December, 2004 Media Statement

No change to bag limits for recreational kahawai fishers, says Minister

Fisheries Minister David Benson-Pope has confirmed that there will be no change to the daily bag limit for fishers of the popular kahawai species.

On 10 August 2004 the Minister announced a 15% reduction in both the commercial and recreational fishing levels for kahawai to safeguard the species. At that time it was suggested that to achieve that reduction among the recreational fishing sector a reduction in their daily bag limit might be necessary.

Today Mr Benson-Pope announced a decision not to change bag limits. He says a number of factors had contributed to the decision, including an earlier decision to conduct more research on the recreational catch and to review kahawai decisions next year.

Recreational daily bag limits for kahawai are based on a mixed bag of species with a limit of 20 per person per day. Within the mixed bag limit, if kahawai is the only species taken, then up to 20 may be taken per person per day.

Mr Benson-Pope says reasons for not changing the bag limit include the agreed uncertainty that exists over the size of the recreational take for kahawai, as well as uncertainty over whether recreational fishers are reaching their current allowance.

Mr Benson-Pope confirmed that he had recently met with recreational fishing interests who had highlighted their concern that fishers were currently not catching their daily limits.

"I am sufficiently convinced that no immediate reduction to bag limits is necessary," says Mr Benson-Pope. "We have channelled significant new research funding into kahawai in the coming year that will allow us to make robust decisions on issues like this. I believe that in the interests of fairness this is the right decision."

ENDS

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