Proposed new Blue Cod rules welcomed

Kaikoura news
Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The MPs for Kaikōura and Nelson Stuart Smith and Dr Nick Smith have welcomed the proposal from the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Marlborough Sounds Blue Cod Advisory Group to change the rules on recreational catch to limits to a minimum size of 33cm and two per person.
“The great benefit of these changes is simplifying the rules. The slot and transition rules have caused a great deal of angst. The recommended proposal of a minimum size of 33cm and a daily bag limit of two with consistency across the Sounds and Challenger East makes much more sense,” Mr Smith says.

“The major criticism of the slot rules was concern that too few of the larger fish were surviving when put back. The transit rule was just impractical for people who were respecting the catch rules but could not bring fish caught in the outer Sounds to wharf. The Blue Cod Management Group has done a good job in listening to concerns and coming up with a more practical approach.

“Recreational rules depend on broad support for compliance. I have heard from many fishers who are angry over the waste caused by the slot rule that it was undermining public support for conserving the fishery. I encourage public input to these proposals so we get as broad agreement as possible on the way forward.

“Sustainability has to be the priority in this discussion. The purpose has to be ensuring people can get out and catch a feed of fish now and into the future, but constraining those who have an ambition to fill the freezer,” Mr Smith concluded.