The Ministry for Primary Industries says there has been increased commercial trawling along the coast of Hawke's Bay and this is no doubt a contributing factor in the depleted fishery.
Recreational fishers in Hawkes Bay said inshore fish stocks had declined so dramatically in the past 10 years that if things did not change the entire fishery would be decimated by the end of the decade.
The MPI said there can be variations in fish stocks caused by a variety of factors not solely related to commercial fishing.
These include environmental factors such as water temperature, habitat quality and food availability.
However, the Ministry said that it had information about possibly high intensity trawling near Napier, which could be contributing to inshore fisheries' depletion.