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Summer Is Here, Catch A Feed, Not A Fine, By Knowing Your Fishing Rules

Summer’s here and if you’re among the hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who enjoy recreational fishing, it’s important that you know the rules for the area you intend to fish.

One of the best things you can do is to download the free NZ Fishing Rules mobile app. It tells you the fishing rules in your area and lets you know if there are any biotoxin warnings for people gathering shellfish, says Fisheries New Zealand Acting Director of Fisheries Compliance, Niamh Murphy.

“There are catch and size limits as well as rules for the kind of gear you’re allowed to use. These rules vary by species and area and do change from time to time, so it’s important to stay up to date. Having the app on your phone gives you the peace of mind of having the right information at your fingertips,” she says.

Once downloaded the fishing app will also work in areas where you don’t have cell phone coverage. Fishers can also text free to 9889 with the name of the fish species and receive a text back with size limits and daily catch limits.

“Fishing for a feed is a popular pastime for a lot of people during the holidays. Our Fisheries New Zealand Fishery Officers and Honorary Fishery Officers (HFOs) will be out and about, patrolling along the coasts, and on the water to ensure the rules are being followed.

“If you’re unsure of any of the rules and regulations, ask your local Fishery Officer – they’re there to help you. We want to make sure you catch a feed and not a fine.

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“By following the rules you’ll be doing your part in keeping our shared fisheries sustainable so that future generations can also enjoy catching a feed of kaimoana.”

Another way of helping to protect our fisheries is to report any suspicious fishing you might witness to 0800 4 POACHER (0800 47 62 24) or

This includes poaching or illegal activity online such as being offered fish for sale through social media platforms such as Facebook.

“Buying or selling recreationally caught fish is illegal. If you are considering buying fish online – make sure you are buying commercially caught fish. Don’t risk prosecution by purchasing fish from a Facebook market place,” says Niamh Murphy.

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