The commercial fishing industry will again support the closure of 237 square kilometres of ocean off Hawke’s Bay this summer.
The voluntary measure, agreed between Napier Fishermen’s Association and LegaSea Hawke’s Bay is supported by Fisheries Inshore New Zealand (FINZ) and the Ministry for Primary Industries.
The area, known as Springs Box, is due east of Napier Port and to the north of Cape Kidnappers.
It was originally closed to commercial fishing for the summers of 2015/16 and 2016/17 in order to improve the recreational fishing experience.
FINZ chief executive, Dr Jeremy Helson, said the feedback from the past few years has been largely positive and the collaboration between recreational and commercial has improved relations between both sectors.
“We are committed to working with recreational fishers in this shared fishery. It is an excellent example of the compromise and collaboration possible between competing sectors.
“To this end, LegaSea Hawke’s Bay has also agreed to monitor the recreational catch within the Bay, with a particular focus on the Springs Box area during the closure. This will give all concerned an indication of the effectiveness of the closure through an improvement in recreational fishing,” said Helson.
Data will be collected using the existing Colin Murray Ramp Survey method.
The closure will apply to all commercial fishing, with the exception of fishers trolling for tuna, for the period 1 December 2017 to 28 February 2018.