Blue cod fishery closure in Marlborough reminder
Hon Jim Anderton
Minister of Agriculture, Minister for Biosecurity
Minister of Fisheries, Minister of Forestry
Associate Minister of Health
Associate Minister for Tertiary Education
30 September 2008 Media Statement
Blue cod fishery closure in Marlborough Sounds reminder
Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton is reminding recreational fishers in the Marlborough Sounds that new blue cod fishing regulations will come into effect from tomorrow (1 October 2008).
These new regulations involve a temporary 4-year closure for recreational Blue Cod fishing within the Sounds. Commercial fishermen have agreed to a voluntary ban on taking blue cod in the same area.
Jim Anderton said the research on blue cod stocks undertaken by NIWA in the Marlborough Sounds showed a clear decline in Blue Cod abundance.
"I had to act on these findings.
"After carefully considering the community's views, expressed in over 1000 submissions, I decided to close the enclosed waters of the Sounds to relieve the pressure on blue cod stocks."
The closure will apply to recreational fishers who fish blue cod within the enclosed Marlborough Sounds Area. This includes all 'enclosed waters' of Pelorus, Kenepuru and Queen Charlotte Sounds and Tory Channel. Fishing for other species within the Sounds will still be allowed, but blue cod caught unintentionally must be returned to the water immediately.
Jim Anderton said the next step was for the community to come up with a management plan that balances with our desire to go fishing now with the rights of our children and grandchildren to fish and catch Blue Cod in the Sounds.
"The temporary closure is about ensuring our future generations will be able to continue to enjoy the right, as New Zealanders, to catch blue cod in the years and decades to come."
Maps of the closed areas and background information are available on the Ministry of Fisheries website www.fish.govt.nz.