Rock lobster catch limits reviewed

Rock lobster catch limits in the Bay of Plenty are under review.

Catch limits of rock lobster in the Bay of Plenty are under review by the Ministry for Primary Industries in the lead-up to the start of the April 2018 fishing year.

MPI is seeking to rebuild the CRA 2 (Hauraki Gulf/Bay of Plenty) rock lobster fishery through decreases to the Total Allowable Catch, recreational and other mortality allowances and the Total Allowable Commercial Catch.

A full scientific assessment of rock lobster stocks in CRA 2 was brought forward from 2018 to 2017 after concerns from MPI, tangata whenua, recreational fishers, commercial fishers and scientists about the availability of rock lobsters in the catchment area.

It is proposed that the annual TAC be reduced from 416.5 tonnes to between 191.5 and 251.5 tonnes, and that the TACC be reduced from 200 tonnes to between 80 and 140 tonnes.

The review of the local catchment is part of a wider review by MPI on rock lobster, sea cucumber and southern blue whiting catch limits.

MPI’s fisheries management director Stuart Anderson says MPI invests more than $20 million in fisheries science every year to ensure management reviews are based on quality information.

“Public consultation is a very important part of this process,” says Stuart, “and we encourage people to let us know what is happening in their local fishery so we can make sure we get this right.”

Public consultation on the review closes on February 9. For more information visit: www.mpi.govt.nz