Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash is encouraging people to have their say on proposed changes to rules controlling the blue cod fishery.
Proposed changes to regulations would apply to both recreational and commercial fishing. They were flagged in the Blue Cod Strategy released last month.
Mr Nash says the blue cod population is under pressure from a number of factors.
“Blue cod is one of our most popular eating fish but the species is vulnerable due to overfishing, changes to the marine environment such as warmer seas and pollution, and issues with their unique biology and life cycle,” Mr Nash says.
“The proposed changes to the recreational fishing rules include lowering daily bag limits in the South Island, which are up to 30 fish per day in some areas. The proposals also include the introduction of a two-day accumulation limit on the number of fish which can be taken over consecutive days, a requirement for blue cod to be landed in a measurable state, and a standardised minimum legal size of landed blue cod to 33cm nationwide.
“Changes proposed for both commercial and recreational fishers include introducing a minimum mesh size for cod pots of 54 millimetres.
“Blue cod stocks are becoming depleted. We are proposing new rules to address the decline we have seen in relatively small areas, and to make the regulations more consistent nationwide. This will make regulations easier to enforce and to comply with.
“The consultation is now open for the public to have their say. Once consultation closes on 26 March, I will consider advice from Fisheries New Zealand officials which will include the information and feedback we receive through this process. I will make a decision on any potential changes later this year,” Mr Nash says.
For more information, and to have your say, visit www.fisheries.govt.nz/bluecod