Community bewildered at kina dredging in the Tory Channel.

February 23, 2023

Kina, a shellfish known around the south as ‘spiky gold’, is still being dredged commercially in the Tory Channel. Recreational fishers and environmental interests are objecting to this archaic practice and are urging the Minister of Oceans and Fisheries to ban all dredging in the Tory Channel from April 2023. 

Kina barren. Image credit: Shaun Lee

“It’s as if no lessons have been learned from the failed Marlborough Sounds and Golden Bay scallop fishery where they were dredged into oblivion. It’s unbelievable that dredging for kina in the Tory Channel has increased by over 30 percent in three years, and in areas that are easily able to be dived,” said Tony Orman, acting chairman of Marlborough Recreational Fishers Association.

Fisheries New Zealand has just completed a review of kina dredging in the Tory Channel and the Minister is due to make a final decision by April. The review came as a surprise to many South Islanders who were not aware that dredging was still allowed. Dredging for kina has been banned elsewhere. 

“Fisheries New Zealand said their objective for the review was to protect benthic or seafloor communities from adverse effects of dredge gear. But only one of their proposed options meets this objective. The answer is simple, all kina dredging must be banned,” said Neil Wilson of the Mohua Marine Trust.

“We need the Minister to step up and ban kina dredging from Tory Channel. Like our forests, we need to protect our kelp and precious marine life. The new Minister Stuart Nash has a great opportunity to show southerners he’s serious about protecting the environment for the benefit of all South Islanders, ” said Mark Connor of the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council.

LegaSea worked with the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council, the New Zealand Angling & Casting Association, and New Zealand Underwater Association to make a submission in February stating that all kina dredging must stop.  

“Dredging and trawling in inshore waters decimates the seafloor and adds to the existing problems we already have with uncontrolled sedimentation. We can’t expect to restore marine biodiversity and shellfish populations if we allow dredging to continue in the Tory Channel. It’s a no-brainer. Stop it. Now,” says Sam Woolford, LegaSea Lead.

Media Release. February 2023.

More information

Kina submission here.