12 Feb 2009

Supreme Court reserves decision over kahawai quotas

6:52 pm on 12 February 2009

The Supreme Court has reserved its decision after hearing a case about the setting of kahawai quotas taken by the New Zealand Big Game Fishing Council.

The main ground for appeal is whether the Minister of Fisheries acted in accordance with statutory requirements in setting the total allowable commercial catch for kahawai in 2004 and 2005.

The fishers' lawyer said the legislation had been differently interpreted by the High Court and Court of Appeal, and recreational fishers want greater access to kahawai than under the current quota.

Lawyers for the commercial fishing companies said if all groups want bigger catch rates that could lead to a bag limit being imposed on recreational fishers.