A ban on blue cod fishing in the Marlborough Sounds could be lifted two years earlier than expected, but conditions will be imposed on anglers.
The fishery was closed last October after the Ministry of Fisheries found it was in serious decline.
However, Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley says a partial or full re-opening of the fishery is possible next summer.
This will be conditional on a management plan to rebuild the fishery and allow managed recreational fishing, which will include a catch reporting system.
Recreational Fishing Council president Geoff Rowling says that's unworkable, and it's daft to expect that non-commercial fishers are going to report how many fish they've caught on a daily basis.