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'Stick to the rules and enjoy kaimoana into the future'

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Fisheries New Zealand is encouraging all recreational fishers to continue sticking to the rules when they’re out on the boat or at their favourite fishing or diving spot.

The formal holiday season may be over, but the Waitangi Day long weekend and warm water mean people will still be keen to get out there and catch some kaimoana.

One tool that can ensure you, your family and mates are following the catch limit rules is the NZ Fishing Rules app, which is available to download for free on both IOS and Android.

The app provides detailed rules and regulations, including catch limits and minimum sizes, for kaimoana on a region-by-region basis.

"It’s possible the rules you relied on last year may have changed, so our advice is to download the app and check the rules, or catch a fine," says MPI National Manager Fish Compliance, Niamh Murphy.

Over the peak holiday season - between December 23 last year and January 9 this year - more than 6,000 people downloaded the app, which was highly encouraging, Ms Murphy says.

Generally, people have been quite good at following the rules this summer.

"Despite the holiday season being a busy time for recreational fishing, inspections carried out by our fishery officers and honorary fishery officers throughout the country showed good levels of compliance from the public."

While non-compliance is often dealt with through education and warnings, they can also lead to infringements and prosecutions for more serious or deliberate offending.

Fishery Officers have focused on summer hotspots around the country. Kaikoura, which reopened for pāua gathering after a five-year closure, was one such location, as crowds flocked to the area.

Ms Murphy praised the good level of compliance found by Fishery Officers and Honorary Fishery Officers.

"Our officers and volunteers are out there working hard to ensure that everyone is following the rules, and we’re also grateful to the public for being vigilant and notifying us of suspicious behaviour.

"With great weather expected over the next month or two, fishers are likely to make the most of it. Please do the right thing - fish for some kaimoana but also help protect stocks for future generations," she says.

MPI encourages the reporting of suspected poaching and fisheries breaches by calling 0800 4 POACHER or emailing ncc@mpi.govt.nz.

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