Fryday FryUp – 9 September

September 9, 2016

Welcome to the FryUp – a regular look back at the week of fishing in the news.

Crayfish ‘functionally extinct’
Crayfish numbers in the Hauraki Gulf have dropped to such a low level they’ve now being called “functionally extinct” by the director of a research marine ecology consultancy company eCoast, Dr Tim Haggitt.

Haggitt and his team have been monitoring the Goat Island marine reserve for the past few years and have noted the decline, which comes on the back of a study started in 2014 that showed the number of crayfish in the reserve was lower than when the reserve was established 40 years ago.

Now there are concerns about the risks to the marine ecosystem due to low crayfish numbers in the wider management that stretches from Pakiri to East Cape.

Haggitt would like to see smaller quota management areas.

“The fisheries management areas are too big. They need to be smaller, with more local based management,” he says.

We couldn’t agree more.

Stuff – Crayfish ‘functionally extinct’ in the Hauraki Gulf
NZSFC – Shameful crayfish management

Snapper – demand grows [from industry]
Meanwhile the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy has agreed to increase commercial catch limits of snapper in the SNA7 region (top of the South Island and West Coast region) as part of a review of fishing quotas.

In July recreational fishers objected to the Ministry’s proposal to give 25% more quota to commercial fishers, on the basis that the fishery has never recovered from the hammering it received in in 1970s and 80s.

The strategy group working on SNA1 (north east of Auckland) has also released its draft plan and while our NZ Sport Fishing Council fisheries team was involved in the process, we must say we’ve been somewhat underwhelmed by the results.

There will be no meaningful management review of fish levels until 2022 at the earliest, and the report recommends an observational role for years to come.
We have concerns about the number of undersized fish being caught off the northeast coast and, off the back of the University of Auckland catch reconstruction data, how the fishery is being managed at an industrial level. We’ll continue to push for better management of this vitally important fishery and you can have your say at a number of public meetings being held around the region. See the MPI link below for details.

NZSFC – No increase in commercial snapper catch around South Island
MPI – Draft Snapper 1 management plan launched
MPI – Review of fisheries sustainability measures for 1 October 2016
Stuff – Skipper fined $25k for fishing in prohibited area

It’ll be scones and jam at FryUp HQ today as morning tea is on Trish after she foolishly got quoted in the paper.

Trish is our long-standing advisor and fisheries advocate and isn’t shy about sharing some of her best catches, along with her passion and understanding of fisheries, with the crew.

The Southland Times – Scallops season and what you need to know before diving in

Have a great weekend.