A plastic knife, designed allow fishers to take paua from rocks without injuring them, could improve the survival rate of paua that are returned to the ocean.
Ministry of Fisheries staff are distributing 10,000 of the 15-centimetre long knives, which also have a measuring scale on them to help in checking whether paua are undersized.
The tool was developed in conjunction with the paua industry.
Ministry of Fisheries national compliance manager Andrew Coleman told Waatea News that paua continue bleeding if their flesh is cut by a steel knife or screwdriver. Undersized paua that are injured and then returned to the water are unlikely to survive.