13 Jul 2013

Fishers to have say on snapper catches

7:23 pm on 13 July 2013

Recreational and commercial fishers can now have their say on proposed changes to how much snapper they can catch.

The Ministry for Primary Inustries has suggested changes to regulations for snapper fishing in the Hauraki Gulf, eastern Northland and Bay of Plenty.

The Ministry is considering three separate options for snapper catch limits. They include decreasing the daily limit for recreational fishers from the current nine fish - to either two, three or five.

A ministry spokesperson, Andrew Doube, says there has been so much public interest in the proposals, it has extended the consulation period to six weeks.

"We will be listening to all stakeholders very carefully about how we should manage the Snapper 1 fishery. Snapper is the highest-value inshore fishery, both commercially and for recreational use, and we'll be very interested in hearing from everyone about how we should manage this fishery as it continues to rebuild."

There could be a seven percent decrease in the annual catch for commerical and recreational sectors.

All options incorporate a new, total customary allowance for Maori of 50 tonnes per year.

The ministry will hold public meetings on the proposals in Auckland, Tauranga and Whangarei.

Consultation on the changes will close on the 23 August.