New NZ shellfish catch limits

The Gisborne and Wellington/Hawkes Bay rock lobster fisheries catch limits will be increased from 1 April. Credit: Stemonitis/CC BY-SA 3.0 The Gisborne and Wellington/Hawkes Bay rock lobster fisheries catch limits will be increased from 1 April. Credit: Stemonitis/CC BY-SA 3.0

Catch limits in New Zealand have been increased for rock lobster (crayfish), scallops and surf clams.

However, there is a decrease in the catch limit for the Otago rock lobster fishery.

Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy says that the increase in most catch limits will boost exports and increase sustainability. The new catch limits (effective from 1 April) are based on best available scientific information and industry input.

Mr Guy says that the commercial catch limit increases have the potential to create a new industry for surf clams that could add up to $20 million a year in export earnings. Increases for rock lobster will also generate over $3 million a year in exports.

The commercial catch limit for the Gisborne rock lobster fishery has been increased by 32.2 tonnes and the catch limit for the Wellington/Hawkes Bay rock lobster fishery has been increased by 32.8 tonnes.

A total commercial catch limit increase of 2718 tonnes has been agreed for four species of surf clam in the Central (Egmont) fishery, along with a 78 tonne increase to the commercial limit in the Coromandel scallop fishery.

The commercial limit in the Otago rock lobster fishery has been decreased by 19.9 tonnes.

Mr Guy said that the decrease in Otago rock lobster take will ensure long term sustainability of the fishery.

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