Changes to Marlborough Sounds blue cod fishing rules announced

Kaikoura news
Friday, October 9, 2015

Scrapping of transit and slot rules, as well as a legal minimum catch size of 33cm are included in the Government’s changes to blue cod fishing rules in the Marlborough Sounds.

“I have been in consistent contact with Primary Industries Minister Hon Nathan Guy about the new rules, as I know they will affect a great number of locals,” MP Stuart Smith says.

“The Government has carefully considered its options and has taken the time necessary to perform the best scientific research it can, and to work with submitters and the public, in order to get it right.

“Managing the fisheries for today is just as important as managing it for tomorrow.

“It’s a pressing issue now, and it’s going to be an issue for the next generations here too. We need to properly care for and preserve our local fisheries.

“I thank the Blue Cod Management Group for their work on this issue, and for their engagement with the community.

“I’m happy we now have a solution on the table that is scientifically sound, and is enduring for the future,” Mr Smith says.

The main changes are the removal of both the ‘transit’ and ‘slot’ rules, meaning there will be one set of rules across the whole of the Marlborough Sounds and Challenger East, as well as one minimum catch size of 33cm.

Other changes include:

  • A daily bag limit of two blue cod per day across the combined area (Marlborough Sounds and Challenger East)
     
  • Fishers may accumulate a maximum of two daily bag limits, provided they were caught on different days
     
  • The recreational no-filleting rule and hook limit remain
     
  • All seasonal closure and closed area restrictions apply equally to recreational and commercial fishers.

    These include:
     
  • Seasonal closure in the Marlborough Sounds from 1 September to 19 December
     
  • A finfish ‘no-take’ zone around Maud Island.