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Closure of Marlborough Sounds recreational blue cod fishery

30 August 2012

On 1 September 2012 the Marlborough Sounds Area (MSA) recreational blue cod fishery will close to recreational fishers.

This area is closed every year from 1 September until 19 December (both days inclusive).

MPI Nelson/Marlborough District Compliance Manager Ian Bright says the Marlborough Sounds blue cod fishery is a very important fishery and the closure is vital to its preservation.

“The reason for the closure is because it encompasses the peak spawning period for blue cod. The benefits of this closure means less disruption and taking of spawning fish which greatly assists with the recovery of blue cod populations in the Sounds,” says Mr Bright.

New rules were introduced to this fishery in 2011 to allow recreational fishers to use the fishery while also helping ensure blue cod populations recover to a healthy state and support a sustainable fishery for the future.

“Fishers need to ensure they comply with the closure dates and rules. They are there to protect and sustain our fish stocks, not to hinder recreational fishers.”

During the closure fishers can fish outside the MSA in other fishery management areas. However, fishers can only transport 3 blue cod over 30 centimetres per fisher back through the closed MSA. When fishing multiple days outside the MSA no more than 6 blue cod per fisher may be possessed in the MSA.

“Blue cod must not be filleted before landing unless they are eaten immediately. Any cod eaten form part of the fisher’s daily limit.”

Fishers also need to be able to prove to fishery officers that they have caught the blue cod outside the MSA. Proof may include photographs containing the fish, fisher and landmarks with date and time, and a GPS track of the vessels activity. People unable to satisfy a fishery officer of where the blue cod were caught may have their fish seized and face further action.

“Information on fishing rules and regulations for this area is widely available and can be found on the MPI website, brochures at your local fisheries office, or by contacting your local fishery officer. There is no excuse for not being aware. A responsible fisher should check these before they go fishing. Fortunately there are many fishers in this area who comply with the regulations; it’s just a minority that let the community down.”

If you see any kind of suspicious fishing activity, you should report it by calling 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224). A map of the MSA closure and more information about fishing rules can be found on our website www.fish.govt.nz


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