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Wakatu Quay area closed for further two years

15 August 2012

Wakatu Quay area closed for further two years

The Ministry for Primary Industries has agreed to extend the temporary closure of the Wakatu Quay area in Kaikoura to all fishing until 17 August 2014.

This decision provides statutory support for a local traditional rähui (closure) over the area.

“The Wakatu Quay area is an important customary fishing resource for tangata whenua in the Kaikoura region,” the Ministry’s Spatial Allocations Manager David Scranney said.

“Te Rūnanga o Kaikoura asked for a further temporary closure to protect the area until a long-term management system can be developed, in conjunction with the Kaikoura community.”

Since 2005, Te Rūnanga has participated in the development of the Kaikoura Marine Strategy with the coastal guardians group Te Korowai o Te Tai o Marokura. Following extensive consultation, Te Korowai plans to release the finalised Strategy in late 2012.

Temporary closures in the South Island are established under section 186B of the Fisheries Act 1996. They can be put in place at the request of the local tangata whenua to allow for local fish stocks to be replenished or better provide for the traditional management of customary fishing.

The Wakatu Quay area was first closed to all fishing on 12 September 2002 for a two-year period. There have been four further two-year closures since. This renewal of the closure will expire on 17 August 2014.

“Te Rūnanga o Kaikoura applied for a further renewal of the rāhui while options for the long-term management of this area are being finalised with the community through Te Korowai,” Te Rūnanga spokesperson Raewyn Solomon said.

“We do not want to see this area re-opened before a long-term management system is in place, as that would undermine the rebuilding of fish stocks and the work that Te Rūnanga and the community has put in over the last 10 years.

“Te Rūnanga is encouraged by the widespread support from the local community for this rāhui, which shows the positive outcome that can be achieved when communities work together,” Ms Solomon said.

Fishery officers and honorary fishery officers will continue to patrol and enforce the closure. Fines up to a maximum of $100,000 apply to anybody caught breaching the closure.

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