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Adjustments to commercial fishing limits

Hon Nathan Guy

Minister for Primary Industries

17 March 2016 Media Statement

Adjustments to commercial fishing limits

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has announced changes to fishing limits in four areas as part of the annual fisheries sustainability review, including for crayfish, scallops and surf clams.

The changes are:

• Rock lobster fishery in the Wellington and Hawkes Bay region (called CRA4) will see a reduction of 15 per cent in the commercial catch limit.

• The CRA 5 (Canterbury/Marlborough) rock lobster fishery will see a rise in the recreational allowance to 87 tonnes.

• Commercial catch limits for Coromandel scallops have been reduced by 50 tonnes.

• Increase in commercial catch limits for four surf clam species at the top of the South Island.

“The decrease in rock lobster limits in Wellington and Hawkes Bay is supported by the industry based on its concerns, and is an excellent example of commercial stakeholders taking a long term view on sustainability. It’s important we make the appropriate management changes early,” said Mr Guy.

No change is proposed to the recreational bag limit in Canterbury/Marlborough at this time, but catches will be closely monitored.

Commercial catch limits for Coromandel scallops have been reduced to ensure long-term sustainability. Further work is planned to determine a long-term approach to managing this shared fishery which is known to naturally vary in abundance.

“For four surf clam stocks at the top of the South Island (Quota Management Area 7), latest scientific surveys show that stocks of deepwater tuatua, triangle shell, large trough shell and ringed dosinia can sustainably support higher commercial catches than are currently set. There is the potential to boost these commercial surf clam fisheries by up to $3 million a year.

“All these decisions make the best possible use of the latest scientific information to ensure sustainable stocks whilst maximising the benefits of New Zealand’s fisheries.

“Regular monitoring and amendments to catch limits are key elements of our fisheries management system. They are informed by science and ensure we retain a flexible and responsive system.”

These decisions come into effect on 1 April. More detailed information can be found at:

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