Unprecedented agreement in Marlborough fishery

April 28, 2015

For the first time in four years management of Marlborough Sounds Blue cod is being reviewed and LegaSea is encouraging recreational fishers to have their say on the future of this most prized fishery.

A multi-stakeholder group, the Blue Cod Management Group, is seeking people’s views now before they develop potential management options to be included in a public consultation document, due for release mid-year.

If you have an interest in this important fishery then please send your feedback as soon as possible to [email protected]. Your comments can be short or long, detailed or brief. Do it now so your comments can be considered early, and be sure to include your contact details so you can be kept informed of any further developments.

Coalition of interests
There is unprecedented agreement on how Blue cod in the Marlborough Sounds ought to be managed in the future. So far groups representing more than 20,000 people have agreed on a range of potential options that could be applied to this fish stock after this year’s review.

Specific groups that have worked together on this issue include the Marlborough Recreational Fishers Association, the Coalition of the Combined Clubs of Wellington and the NZ Angling and Casting Association. Their recommendations have been distributed so others can support the same measures.

The intention is twofold; firstly to have fair, sensible rules that apply to recreational fishing across the entire Top of the South Island, and secondly, to have simple regulations that are well supported by the local community and visitors to the area.

LegaSea is supporting the combined group’s recommendations as they align with our Principles:

  1. Rebuild the fishery
  2. Stop senseless waste
  3. Set equal size limits, including minimum size limits for sustainability reasons rather than to give priority to commercial fishers

Next steps
The Ministry for Primary Industries will conduct a formal consultation process in May-June this year. Submissions to that process will be required by 15th June. Ministry will review all submissions and make recommendations to the Minister on what regulations ought to apply when the new Blue cod season opens on 20 December 2015.

Please take the time to have input into this process. The Marlborough Sounds Blue cod stock is worth conserving as it draws people to the area from around the country and overseas. Let’s do what we can together to rebuild this iconic fishery.