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Fishery given further chance to rebuild

Wed, 22 Dec 2004

Pukerua Bay fishery given further chance to rebuild

Public consultation shows local support for the move

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Fisheries Minister David Benson-Pope has extended a closure of Pukerua Bay to fishing for another two years to allow for further rebuilding of the fishery.

"Ministry of Fisheries' analysis suggests the closure will improve the availability and size of fish, aquatic life, and seaweed in Pukerua Bay, as well as help to recognise a customary rähui (ban) in place," said Mr Benson-Pope.

The extension of the temporary closure will run until 19 December 2006. The Ministry of Fisheries will update signs in the area that detail the closed zone and the duration of the closure.

The bay is closed to all fishing, except hand-held line fishing for finfish species. The closure, under section 186A of the Fisheries Act, prohibits the taking and disturbing of shellfish; crustaceans such as barnacles, crabs and shrimps; echinoderms including starfish, urchins and sea cucumbers; other marine life and seaweeds. All categories of fishers including customary, recreational and commercial fishers, are affected by the restrictions.

However, hand-held line fishing is excluded from the temporary closure because it has a minimal impact on reef floor communities and is popular with local recreational fishers.

An initial temporary closure was introduced in 2002, at the request of Te Runanga o Toa Rangatira (Ngati Toa) and supported by the Pukerua Bay Resident's Association, with the aim of allowing the fishery in the area to rebuild.

Mr Benson-Pope says Ngati Toa requested an extension to the temporary closure and public consultation showed local support for the move.

The area covered by the temporary closure is defined by a line from a point on the coastline east of Wairaka Point (at 41°01.8'S and 174°52.3'E), then northwest to a prominent rock (at 41°01.7'S and 174°52.2'E), then generally northeast to a point on the coastline immediately below a slip scar on State Highway 1, at Centennial Highway (at 41°00.9'S and 174°54.9'E).

ENDS


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