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Kaikoura rāhui renewed

Kaikoura rāhui renewed

The Ministry of Fisheries has agreed to extend the temporary closure of the Whakatu Quay area in Kaikoura to all fishing until 17 August 2012. This decision provides statutory support for a local traditional rāhui (closure) over the area.

“The Whakatu Quay area is an important traditional resource to the tangata whenua in the Kaikoura region” Dr Randall Bess said.

“Te Runanga o Kaikoura asked to renew the temporary closure so the area will be protected until a local management system can be developed in conjunction with the Kaikoura community”, Dr Bess said.

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

The Whakatu Quay area was first closed to all fishing on 12 September 2002 for a two-year period. The closure was renewed in 2004, 2006 and 2008 for further two-year periods. The latest renewal of the closure will expire on 17 August 2012.

“Te Runanga o Kaikoura applied for a renewal of the rāhui because a permanent management system for this area is still being developed with the community through the coastal guardians group Te Korowai o Te Tai o Marokura,” said Te Runanga Chairperson Maurice Manawatu.

“Te Runanga does not want to see this recovering area prematurely re-opened before a permanent management system is established, as that could risk undermining the work on monitoring and re-seeding the area that Te Runanga and the community has put in over the last 8 years” Mr Manawatu said.

“The monitoring and management of this site throughout these closures has generated community support and awareness and is testament to what can be achieved when communities work together” said Dr Bess.

ENDS

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