LOCALS PROMPT COROMANDEL SHELLFISH RESTRICTIONS

  • John Luxton
Fisheries and Aquaculture

Local concern has prompted a reduction in daily recreational bag limits for shellfish on the Coromandel Peninsula.

"I have taken this action after listening to local iwi and community concerns about the sustainability of the shellfish beds on the Peninsula," said Fisheries Minister, Hon John Luxton.

The daily bag limits for shellfish will reduced from:
150 to 50 Cockle
150 to 50 Pipi
150 to 50 Tuatua
250 to 100 Oysters (rock and pacific)
50 to 25 Green-lipped mussels

"The recreational shellfish bag limits were reduced last year in the Auckland Metropolitan Area. Following this a proposal was put to me by the Hauraki Maori Trust Board to reduce the bag limits for its entire tribal area."

"Consultation with stakeholders showed that there was considerable support from Coromandel people for the reductions. Many people expressed concern at the large increase in the number of people harvesting shellfish from the area."

"A precautionary approach is necessary to ensure the sustainability of shellfish populations in the Coromandel. I have decided against reducing the bag limits in Northland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty as there was limited information to suggest concern about sustainability in these areas."

There remains a need to continue monitoring shellfish populations, and to develop a longer term management strategy that incorporates the views of Maori and other stakeholders in the north region.

The change will come into effect in November 1999.