Western Coromandel's pipi and cockles given further chance to rebuild

  • David Benson-Pope
Fisheries and Aquaculture

Fisheries Minister David Benson-Pope has extended a closure to the harvesting of pipi and cockles in the western Coromandel peninsula for a further two years to allow stocks to rebuild.

"Ministry of Fisheries’ analysis suggests the continued closure will improve the availability and size of pipi and cockles between Ngarimu and Wilson's Bays, as well as help recognise a customary rähui (ban) in place there," said Mr Benson-Pope.

The Hauraki Maori Trust Board is undertaking a monitoring programme and the Ministry is doing surveys at Waikawau Bay to gather the information needed to determine the best long-term management tools for the pipi and cockle fisheries in the area.

"Further research is needed to understand the environmental conditions that may contribute to their decline," said Mr Benson-Pope. "The Ministry will update signs in the area that detail the closed zone and the duration of the closure."

Mr Benson-Pope agreed to a request from the Hauraki Maori Trust Board for a further two-year extension of the temporary closure after public consultation showed local support for a further extension of the temporary closure.

This is the second extension of the temporary closure under section 186A of the Fisheries Act, which was initiated in 2000.

The closed area extends one nautical mile offshore from the mean high-water mark, from a point near the northern-most part of Wilson's Bay (at 36°53.24'S and 175°25.43'E) to the Pupurakau Stream mouth south of Ngarimu Bay (at 37°04.49'S and 175°30.96'E).

Extension of the temporary closure became effective on 19 December 2004 and will expire on 18 December 2006, as notified in the New Zealand Gazette.