26 Feb 2016

Calls to continue fishing ban around Rena

12:41 pm on 26 February 2016

A Motiti Island hapu is urging the public to support a two-year extension of the fishing exclusion zone around the Rena wreck on the Astrolabe Reef in the Bay of Plenty.

A regional council decision on whether or not the wreck should be removed will be made public today at 2pm.

Salvage efforts are continuing on the Rena's bow wedged on Astrolabe Reef.

Salvage efforts are continuing on the Rena's bow wedged on Astrolabe Reef. Photo: MARITIME NEW ZEALAND

Te Atarangi Sayers of Nga Hapu o te Moutere o Motiti says the decision about excluding fishing from the reef rests with the harbourmaster, who banned fishing after the 2011 sinking to protect boats from the wreckage.

He said since then marine life has flourished.

"In particular there's been sightings of hāpuku in the shallows which are rarely seen in New Zealand waters these days.

"The key thing is that the exclusion zone has created this environmental space which has bounced back from the lack of fishing pressure."

Nga Hapu o te Moutere o Motiti want to develop a larger plan to protect taonga fish species in the bay.

Submissions on the fishing exclusion zone close on 14 March.

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