The chair of Ngai Tahu, Mark Solomon, says fishers should be using the sea as a larder, not as a place to go to and fill their freezers.
The South Island iwi is part of a community group that has launched a plan to boost fish and seafood stocks off Kaikoura.
The group, Te Korowai, is taking submissions on its 124-page plan, Sustaining our Sea, before presenting it to the Government next July.
Among the suggestions are reducing recreational fishing quota, creating the country's biggest marine reserve and seeking World Heritage Status for it.
Mr Solomon says kaimoana should be caught when it's needed. He says the sea is a place to go to get a feed, not to fill a freezer from.
He says drawing up the plan with other community groups has been a beautiful process that has brought them closer.