Re-opening the Kaikōura shellfish and seaweed fisheries

te korowai 2

The Kaikoura coastal shellfish and seaweed fisheries have now been closed for over 3 years. Te Korowai are holding a community hui to present the latest Science and Coastal Recovery research. They want to gather community views on when and how the shellfish and seaweed fisheries should be re-opened. This information will feed into the development and consultation of a new management plan by Fisheries New Zealand.

Come along to the Trotting Club Hall, South Bay Racecourse, Kaikōura on September 28th
The event opens at 3:30 with presentations starting at 4:30.
More information on the website www.teamkorowai.org.nz

Feedback is welcomed by 30 September 2020
Please click here and refer to the Consultation Document for more information before you make a submission.

Comments can be provided by: email: teamkorowai@gmail.com
On the website: www.teamkorowai.org.nz
Via post: Fisheries Reopening, PO Box 121, Kaikoura
If you need assistance preparing your submission, please contact Gina Solomon on 0275161715 

Why are the fisheries closed?

The November 2016 earthquakes caused significant uplift along parts of the coastline north of the Conway River. The uplift resulted in the immediate death of many adult and juvenile pāua, other shellfish and seaweeds, and also damaged and permanently altered the habitats of shellfish and seaweed along the coast. 

The Minister of Fisheries closed the area from Conway River to Marfells Beach in order to allow the shellfish and seaweed and their habitats to recover.

When should the fisheries be re-opened? 

Before the shellfish and seaweed fisheries can be re-opened: Biological criteria must be met – monitoring of the fishery must show that shellfish and seaweed stocks have recovered sufficiently to allow a cautious level of harvesting; and Management controls must be in place 

Proposed biological criteria for re-opening the pāua fishery
a. Widespread emergence of post- earthquake recruits is observed across the fishery; and
b. A sustained increase in pāua biomass is observed across the fishery. 

The criteria will be met when scientific dive surveys observe a steady trend of increasing adult abundance, supported by widespread presence of post-earthquake recruits (i.e., juvenile pāua of around 100mm in length that are 3-4 years old and have settled and grown since the earthquake). Harvesting of all shellfish and seaweed species could be allowed, or only of selected species; The area could be re-opened to all fishers (customary, recreational and commercial) or just to certain sectors.

The simplest approach would be to re-open the whole area to the harvesting of all species by all fishing sectors.  This would be the fairest solution and the most practical for implementation and enforcement – but it will only be possible if the biological criteria are met for all species and appropriate management controls are in place for all sectors.

Have your Say

Te Korowai would like to hear what you think about when the fisheries should be re-opened. 
Please refer to the Consultation Document for more information before you make a submission.
Do you agree with the general approach proposed above? 
What do you think about the biological criteria for re-opening the pāua fishery? 
Are there other options that should be considered? 

Why do we need new management controls?

Re-opening the Kaikōura coastline to the harvesting of pāua, other shellfish and seaweed is not simply a matter of returning to the way things were before the earthquakes (see Appendix 1 in the Consultation Document for a summary of current amateur fishing controls). 

Shellfish and seaweed habitats have been dramatically altered, and this could affect the long-term productivity of our seafood resources.  In some areas, the coastal environment is still changing, with erosion of uplifted substrate continuing, sand coming and going, and increased levels of sediment washing into the sea after storm events.  

Have Your Say : Vehicle or vessel limits

A vehicle or vessel limit can help prevent large amounts of pāua being taken by groups of people.  There are currently no vehicle or vessel limits for pāua, but these tools are used in other abalone fisheries (see Boxes 3 and 4 in the Consultation Document).

A vehicle and/or vessel limit may be appropriate if there are concerns about large groups of people taking pāua – for example, groups who have travelled to Kaikōura by minivan or groups on recreational charter vessels.  Vehicle or vessel limits can help ensure that shellfish resources are appropriately shared among users.  These types of measures typically have limited impact on local fishers but would discourage large groups from acting in a way which puts the resource at risk.

Please refer to the Consultation Document for more information before you make a submission.

Do you think a vehicle or vessel limit could be useful for the Kaikōura pāua fishery?
If so, how should the limit be set (e.g., four daily bag limits?) 

Have Your Say : Size limits

The minimum size limit is a vital tool to ensure that pāua have a chance to breed before they can be harvested.  The current minimum legal size (MLS) is 125mm for blackfoot pāua and 80mm for yellowfoot pāua. The MLS applies to commercial and recreational harvesting, but commercial fishers have adopted a higher minimum harvest size of at least 135-140mm (see Appendix 2) in the full document.

Please refer to the Consultation Document for more information before you make a submission.

Do you think the minimum harvest size for pāua should be increased? 
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the MLS options discussed in the full document? 

Have Your Say : Fishing seasons and times

Fishing seasons are a way of limiting effort in a fishery.  A closed season can also allow the fishery to recover when it is not being fished.  There are currently no fishing seasons or time limits for pāua fisheries, but these tools are used in some other jurisdictions.

Please refer to the Consultation Document for more information before you make a submission.

What are your thoughts on a three month season for pāua fishing when the fishery re-opens?
Would you prefer an alternative season or no closed season? 

Have Your Say : Fishing gear restrictions

Gear restrictions are typically used to either limit the total amount of fishing effort, or to protect fish from harmful fishing practices.  The current prohibition on the use of underwater breathing apparatus helps to limit fishing effort and means that pāua in deeper water are less vulnerable to harvesting. 

Pāua are very sensitive to poor fishing practices – but using an appropriate harvesting tool is only part of the story.  

Please refer to the Consultation Document for more information before you make a submission.

Although new gear restrictions for pāua are not favoured at this stage, Te Korowai is interested to hear your thoughts on gear restrictions and areas that you may think should remain closed.

Have Your Say : Catch monitoring and reporting

Knowing where and how much harvest is occurring is critical for the successful recovery and on-going management of the Kaikōura pāua fishery.  Without this information, management measures can’t be adjusted reliably to meet the needs of the fishery and its users.  Currently fisheries managers have information on customary harvest as well as fine-scale catch and location information for all commercial pāua harvesting.  However, information on recreational harvesting is sparse and uncertain.  Most information on recreational fishing comes from FNZ’s National Panel Surveys which do not cover pāua particularly well.  

Please refer to the Consultation Document for more information before you make a submission.

Do you support mandatory registration for recreational pāua fishers?
What are your thoughts on self-reporting?
Do you have any other ideas on how to obtain better recreational catch data to inform future management?

Have Your Say : Management measures for other shellfish and seaweed

The Kaikōura area already has management measures for kina, other shellfish and seaweed that are more conservative than most of the rest of New Zealand (see Appendix 1) in the Consultation Document. 

Please refer to the Consultation Document for more information before you make a submission.

Do you think that additional management measures are necessary for kina, cockles, pipi and other shellfish or seaweeds? 
If so, what would you propose?

THANK YOU! Make sure you have your say

Thank you for your consideration of the ideas in the Consultation Document – your feedback is appreciated.
You can provide your feedback Email: teamkorowai@gmail.com
On our website: teamkorowai@squarespace.com
Via post: Fisheries Reopening, PO Box 121, Kaikoura
If you need assistance preparing your submission, please contact Gina Solomon on 0275161715

20 September 2020