Effective marine protection needs a holistic approach

November 22, 2023 People are a vital part of the marine ecosystem. We have the ability to influence changes in both positive and negative ways. Conventional marine protection separates us from the environment, creating a disconnect between people and conservation efforts. In contrast, traditional techniques acknowledge the power that comes with engaging communities and believe people are a […]

A nice idea with poor execution

November 22, 2023 The goal of marine protection is to help enhance and protect ecosystems for future generations. Our children’s children deserve to enjoy an abundant and diverse Hauraki Gulf. Marine reserves were initially created for scientific purposes, not as a fisheries management tool. So, how can we expect them to solve depleting abundance and declining biodiversity? Effective […]

Respecting rāhui is good for conservation

November 21, 2023 An increase in extreme weather events, land run-off, and ineffective fisheries management means we need to embrace a variety of tools to restore our inshore marine environment. This summer you may come across a rāhui at your favourite beach or fishing destination. It’s important that you respect the rāhui because it has been put in […]

A small price to pay for an abundant ocean

November 19, 2023 A battle is being fought between prioritising the health of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park for future generations and degrading the seafloor for the short term gain of commercial interests. Fisheries New Zealand (FNZ) originally planned to close public consultation on the proposed ‘trawl corridors’ on 6 November. Four options were presented, all allowing for […]

Option Zero for no more trawling

November 13, 2023 It’s staggering to realise that the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park was established in 2000 to protect this maritime jewel for the benefit of the community, yet 23 years later it has become more degraded. The scallop fishery is closed, the crayfish population is described as functionally extinct, the invasive Caulerpa seaweed is spreading, and mushy […]

Say no to Trawl Corridors

October 27, 2023 The Hauraki Gulf is more degraded now than when it was first established over 20 years ago. Over a century of damage caused by bottom trawling, followed by Danish seining and dredging, can be addressed by you saying no to this ongoing destruction. Most of us agree that a healthy marine environment is good for […]

Speak up for effective marine protection

October 27, 2023 It may come as a shock that the ocean is not a closed ecosystem. Fish don’t know boundaries, only we humans do. And, fish don’t stay in one place because it’s a marine reserve, they are born to migrate. If we want to improve biodiversity by increasing fish  abundance then we have to think beyond […]

Community initiatives benefit from active restoration

October 22, 2023 It’s fair to say the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park is turning to shit. Quite literally. Hundreds of litres of raw sewage entered the Waitematā Harbour every second after a 13-metre sinkhole caused the blockage of a main wastewater pipe in downtown Auckland. Do you think a marine reserve would be an effective way to solve […]

Mystery solved – they’re not listening

October 5, 2023 As advocates for change it’s concerning that officials recently admitted they dismiss form submissions if they say the same thing. Most of the submissions that LegaSea receives from passionate people have personal comments added to their submission and this feedback must not be ignored. Firstly, because these are grunty, heartfelt messages from people who care. […]

Momentous Court Decision

October 4, 2023 It’s almost a year since the High Court declared the Minister’s 2021 and 2022 decisions for the future management of Northland crayfish (CRA 1) were unlawful. The Court directed the Minister to review CRA 1 again. That review occurred earlier this year and the outcome was underwhelming. Firstly, Fisheries New Zealand (FNZ) provided the Minister […]

Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Fisheries Plan

October 1, 2023 In good faith over the past decade we have engaged in discussions about improving the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park environment. We’ve advocated for a ban on bottom trawling, dredging and seining. The Park also needs to be designated as a separate fisheries management area so fish populations can be restored to more natural levels. After […]

No anchoring or fishing this summer?

September 29, 2023 Look out. Caulerpa may be coming to a bay near you this summer. It’s an invasive seaweed species that may stop you from fishing or anchoring in your favourite place. Underwater it looks like a green carpet of kikuyu grass and it’s already infesting the seabed in some areas at Aotea Great Barrier Island, Kawau […]

Large snapper and crayfish missing the kina feast

September 20, 2023 Kina might not be on everyone’s list of favourite foods, yet when it comes to the marine environment they are significant indicators of how well our inshore marine ecosystem is functioning. Off the coast of east Northland down to the Bay of Plenty, the numbers of kina are increasing. This is bringing joy to people […]

Marine environment has no rights

September 19, 2023 Fisheries decisions have dominated the news over the past month. Many of us at LegaSea are still scratching our heads. The government needs to get serious about restoring the Hauraki Gulf. This starts by removing trawling and dredging so we can rebuild fish populations. Science has unequivocally proven the damage that trawling and dredging does […]

Let’s stop the madness

August 24, 2023 In the last two months we have been deeply involved in the development of seven major submissions responding to fisheries management and policy proposals. The common theme is that excessive catches lead to demands for increased commercial quota. This is not new, but it’s frustrating given the greenwashing rhetoric from officials and industry captains about […]

Alliance slams decision to continue trawling Hauraki Gulf

August 9, 2023 News today that the government will allow bottom trawling to continue in large areas of the Hauraki Gulf is being met by strong opposition from an alliance of groups campaigning to get the destructive fishing method out of the marine park. Released today, the decision is part of the Hauraki Gulf Fisheries Plan, and while […]

Government fishing plan ignores public outrage

August 8, 2023 Government approval for a plan that supports the ongoing use of destructive fishing methods along New Zealand’s coastline has been labelled an outrage by recreational fishing and environmental interests. “There’s no plan to provide New Zealanders who are already struggling to feed whānau with affordable kaimoana. There’s no plan to support the struggling regional economies […]

Hauraki Gulf Alliance presents petition to Parliament. 22 June 2023

June 22, 2023 Today, a diverse range of recreational fishing, environmental, law, corporate and business organisations have come together as the Hauraki Gulf Alliance to deliver a petition calling for bottom trawling, scallop dredging, and Danish seining to be banned from within the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. The petition of 36,589 signatures will be presented to MPs outside […]

Strong reef protection a united front

May 22, 2023 A new artificial reef off Napier Port is set to become a flourishing environment thanks to the collaboration between mana whenua, LegaSea Hawkes Bay, Port of Napier, and the community. This collaboration has already produced two other artificial reefs in Hawke’s Bay, one north of Pania Reef and another at a shipwreck site. After only […]

Thousands want trawling gone

May 15, 2023 In March over 7000 New Zealanders united to submit against the ongoing use of bottom trawling and scallop dredging in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. These submitters were responding to Fisheries New Zealand’s draft Hauraki Gulf Fisheries Plan, issued in January.  Public consultation on the plan is now closed. The draft action plan is supposed […]

Mushy fleshed snapper in the Hauraki Gulf

April 3, 2023 At the LegaSea-led Kai Ika filleting station, we fillet fish for amateur fishers. We also collect and distribute unwanted fishheads and frames to marae and whānau around Auckland who revere these tasty morsels.    In August 2022, before snapper spawning season even began, we noticed a large proportion of the fish coming through the Kai Ika […]

Groups unite to celebrate scallop closure

March 20, 2023 Environmental, iwi and recreational fishing interests in the Hauraki Gulf are celebrating the Minister’s decision to close the Coromandel scallop fishery indefinitely.  The Coromandel scallop fishery stretches from Leigh, Rodney in the north to Maketū in the Bay of Plenty.  Ngāti Hei led the closure with a rāhui prohibiting the harvest of scallops on the […]

A healthier Hauraki Gulf must come first

March 14, 2023 It’s time to look into the future of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. There is a growing awareness that we collectively need to be doing more to protect and enhance the waters of the Marine Park. So it’s unfortunate that Government plans for the future management of the Park include maintaining areas for trawling and […]

Communities and fishers welcome emergency scallop closure

December 14, 2022 Communities and fishers have welcomed Minister David Parker’s decision to use emergency powers to close the last two commercial scallop beds in New Zealand, in the Hauraki Gulf. The other scallop beds around Northland, Auckland and the Bay of Plenty, were closed earlier this year after a widespread community outcry at the disappearance of the […]

Proposed Hauraki Gulf marine protection – a farce?

December 6, 2022 Support for more protection of treasured Hauraki Gulf Marine Park waters continues to grow, so it’s interesting that recent Government proposals to increase no-fishing areas do not necessarily mean more fish in the water. In September 2022, the Department of Conservation asked for public feedback on a range of proposals, presenting 12 High Protection Areas […]

Minister ensures more fish in the water

November 1, 2022 We’re celebrating Minister David Parker’s choice to drop controversial changes to fisheries legislation that would threaten sustainability of crucial fish species. The Oceans and Fisheries Minister has announced he will pull out pre-set decision rules from the Fisheries Amendment Bill currently sitting in Parliament. He cited one of the reasons why he pulled the pre-set […]

Amendment Bill retains environmental protections

October 25, 2022 The Fisheries Amendment Bill passed into law today is welcome news to Kiwi fishers and environmental groups who are committed to restored abundance of our fisheries. “Oceans and Fisheries Minister David Parker is to be thanked for passing legislation that enables monitoring cameras aboard commercial fishing vessels and makes them land their catch instead of […]

Last minute change to Fisheries Amendment Bill a win for the environment

September 29, 2022 The Government’s decision to drop controversial changes to fisheries legislation is welcome news to fishing and environmental groups concerned about threats to fish sustainability.  Oceans and Fisheries Minister David Parker has announced he will progress the part of the Fisheries Amendment Bill that enables monitoring cameras aboard commercial fishing vessels from 1 November.  But the […]

Fisheries Amendment Bill full of hidden fish hooks

September 21, 2022 Proposed changes to the laws governing fisheries will remove the current protections for fish sustainability and affect fishing rights for more than 600,000 fishers. Currently, the Minister of Oceans and Fisheries has a statutory duty to manage fish stocks to a level that provides for future generations’ needs, and to consider public input. The Minister […]

Our say will always matter

June 21, 2022 Recently, coastal clubs, communities, and the public united to tackle a Fisheries Amendment Bill that is currently sitting before parliament, involving a number of changes with the potential of redefining sustainability of our fish populations. Our fear is that this is another attempt by officials to cater to commercial-only interests by encouraging more overfishing and […]

Massive implications hidden in Fisheries Amendment Bill

June 14, 2022 Environmental, fishing and marine conservation groups have joined to fight clauses in the Fisheries Amendment Bill. While seemingly harmless, they in fact smuggle through major changes that aim to remove public and ministerial oversight from future fisheries decisions. Instead it enables bureaucrats working closely with industry players to maximise their commercial fishing returns.   The […]

Let the camera roll-out begin

May 27, 2022 In May 2022, the Government confirmed details of the roll-out of cameras onboard commercial fishing vessels. Details include a timeline and restrictions around what vessels have cameras, with the roll-out beginning and West Coast North Island inshore trawl and set net video footage becoming available from 30 November 2022. While it’s awesome to see a […]

Community backs up scallops

March 1, 2022 With scallop numbers in the Hauraki Gulf declining, support to protect the last remaining beds continues to grow. Many local organisations showed their support for a rāhui placed on all scallop harvesting by Ngāti Manuhiri down the east coast of North Auckland. The Ngāti Manuhiri rāhui area spans from Bream Tail down to Okura River […]

Inspiring the next generation

February 25, 2022 It’s 22 years since the government came out of hiding and into the public arena to snatch our fishing rights and interests. Thankfully there were a handful of people alert to the threats and two of them tower above them all, Paul Barnes and Bill Cooke. Paul and Bill were men of insight and principles. […]

Innovative solutions to restore crayfish numbers

February 20, 2022 When science and decision-making collide in the world of fisheries management, conservation is most often the loser. Fisheries New Zealand recently proposed a 5 to 15 percent cut to commercial catch limits in the northern crayfish fishery and catch increases in southern areas. LegaSea worked with our New Zealand Sport Fishing Council fisheries team and […]

Innovative solutions to restore crayfish numbers

February 9, 2022 When science and decision-making collide in the world of fisheries management, conservation is most often the loser. Fisheries New Zealand recently proposed a 5 to 15 percent cut to commercial catch limits in the northern crayfish fishery and catch increases in southern areas. LegaSea worked with our New Zealand Sport Fishing Council fisheries team and […]

Let the cameras roll

February 7, 2022 After nine years of resistance the government is on track to finally get cameras on-board commercial vessels to monitor fishing activity. Installations are expected to start at the end of 2022 and finish in 2024. We’re encouraging the Minister to initiate the camera rollout as soon as possible. We know from previous compliance reports and […]

No more dumping in Hawke’s Bay

January 25, 2022 LegaSea Hawke’s Bay has said an outright no to the proposal by their Regional Council to dump more than 50,000 cubic metres of dredge material onto the foreshore south of Napier. Instead, LegaSea Hawke’s Bay is urging the Council to dispose of the Clive River dredgings on land. And they are not alone in advocating […]

Bag limit changes – keep it simple

December 20, 2021 Action is finally being taken to stop the sale of vulnerable marine fish not protected by maximum daily bag limits. Currently no bag limits apply to pink and blue maomao, grandaddy hāpuku, pigfish and wrasses. We’ve sent the Minister our recommendations for a 3-daily bag limit for each of those species and for the regulations […]

Opito Bay scallop restoration programme – one year on

December 17, 2021 Today we’re celebrating one year since the successful launch of the Coromandel scallop restoration programme. On 17 December 2020 representatives from the Coromandel community, iwi and recreational fishing organisations all stood together at Opito Bay to call for protection of our scallop beds from the destructive practice of scallop dredging. The official launch was marked […]

No more dumping in Hawke’s Bay

December 14, 2021 LegaSea Hawke’s Bay has said an outright no to the proposal by their Regional Council to dump more than 50,000 cubic metres of dredge material onto the foreshore south of Napier. Instead, LegaSea Hawke’s Bay is urging the Council to dispose of the Clive River dredgings on land. And they are not alone in advocating […]

No once over lightly for bag limits

December 14, 2021 A gaping hole in the fishing regulations is about to be plugged to stop the exploitation of vulnerable reef fish and to address community concerns. Conflict arose in Tairua, Coromandel, earlier this year when hundreds of pink maomao were being landed and people realised no bag limits applied. MPI were powerless to respond because the […]

No more destructive fishing in inshore waters

November 24, 2021 The most effective way to improve the long term productivity of our marine environment is to remove destructive fishing techniques such as bottom trawling, scallop dredging, Danish and purse seining from inshore waters. We don’t have to look far to see the benefits of removing bulk harvesting seining and bottom contact fishing methods from inshore […]

Over inflated catch limits

November 23, 2021 The Minister’s recent decision to cut the Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) for gurnard around the top half of the North Island by 65% is recognition that this was one of the species that was over allocated when TACCs were set in 1986. These allocations are no longer appropriate. Many of those historic TACCs were […]

The QMS. A rotten system

November 21, 2021 Tarakihi and bluenose are important target species for people fishing on the east coast of New Zealand, between Northland to Southland. Having them abundant and available is important for our social and cultural wellbeing, with the added bonus that they taste great when eaten fresh with family and friends. Under the Quota Management System (QMS) […]

Kai Ika newsletter update – Heads Up – Kai Ika filleting re-opens

November 4, 2021 In these crazy times Kai Ika find itself busier than ever. Many Auckland whānau are needing more help than before, evident by the length of the queues waiting for pick up at the marae when kaimoana is available. Thankfully more suppliers are stepping up and we have more food to distribute than ever before.

Biodiversity hot spot on our doorstep

October 27, 2021 The Hauraki Gulf is a biodiversity hot spot. It’s also in trouble, with well-documented declines in fish abundance and unrelenting run-off from urban centres and rural land. Support is growing for more comprehensive protection of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. This includes higher protection for marine biodiversity, by banning destructive bottom contact fishing methods such […]

Minister passes first major test

October 21, 2021 It’s a pass mark for the Minister’s fisheries management decisions for the start of the October fishing year and a hurry-up for Fisheries New Zealand to gather vital data over the next 12 months. That pass is only valid if action is taken to do further work. Fisheries New Zealand need to be monitoring the […]

A mixed outcome from scallop ban

October 15, 2021 It’s great to be alongside Ngāti Hei celebrating the Minister’s recent approval for a 2-year rāhui banning all scallop harvesting around the eastern Coromandel until September 2023. On the flip side, it is ominous for the sustainability of other scallop beds that remain open around the Hauraki Gulf and Bay of Plenty. People around Omaha, […]

Mediocrity not good enough for the Hauraki Gulf

September 24, 2021 In 2002 researchers surveying the Hauraki Gulf estimated only 24 tonnes of gurnard remained in Gulf waters. Since then there has been a succession of Hauraki Gulf Forum reports documenting continual decline of fish stocks and marine biodiversity. A crisis is looming yet there is no effective response from local or national government. The Hauraki […]

10,000 people stand up for conservation

September 16, 2021 More than 10,000 people put their name to supporting our recent submissions to the Minister of Oceans and Fisheries calling for more conservative management of our precious marine environment. Many of these people are frustrated that the Minister still permits environmentally destructive acts such as dragging weighted chains and box dredges across seafloor habitats. Bottom […]

Harvesting ban welcomed but fears remain

September 8, 2021 Groups that worked to save Coromandel scallop beds are delighted with David Parker’s decision to endorse the regional rāhui on scallops. But, at the same time, are concerned commercial fishers will now desecrate the already threatened scallop beds off Omaha, Great Barrier and Little Barrier. Ngāti Hei kaitiaki, Joe Davis welcomed the decision to ban […]

Dragging the chain on ecosystem management

August 26, 2021 Bottom trawling, the act of dragging chains across the seabed, has an adverse effect on the marine environment. In our most recent submissions responding to government fisheries proposals we have emphasised the need for the Minister to take those adverse effects into account by setting lower catch limits for fish species taken mainly by trawling. […]

Growing support to ban dredging

August 24, 2021 Support for our collective efforts to get rid of scallop dredging from New Zealand’s inshore waters is growing. It’s strange then that the government has come out with a plan to ban all recreational scallop dredging from the Hauraki Gulf yet allow commercial fishers to continue using the Victorian Box Dredge to gather scallops. This […]

Commercial fishers undo community’s efforts to save scallops

August 12, 2021 Commercial fishers who flagrantly dredged scallop beds while flying a pirate flag have undone the good work of communities who have tried to save the beds by observing a rahui. In December 2020, a voluntary rāhui was laid on the eastern Coromandel coastline to protect dwindling numbers of scallops from dredging and overharvest. In February […]

Plenty to celebrate at the Tairua Boat Show

August 10, 2021 LegaSea is looking forward to talking about local issues with the Coromandel community at the upcoming Tairua Boat Show in mid-August. There is so much to discuss including Opito Bay scallops, the Ngāti Hei rāhui across the eastern coastline, and the ongoing struggle to ban trawling and dredging in the Hauraki Gulf. It was pleasing […]

No travel bubble for snapper

July 23, 2021 Snapper stocks out west of the North Island have rebuilt to an abundance level beyond most people’s living memory. Fisheries New Zealand (FNZ) has proposed catch increases for commercial fishers, an increase to the overall allowances for recreational and Māori customary fishing interests, and no changes to recreational bag or size limits. Submissions are due […]

Government deaf to community concerns

July 15, 2021 Local Hauraki Gulf communities are left feeling unheard after the Government has decided to take a cherry-picking approach in protecting and enhancing the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. We are disappointed by the recent changes proposed in the Government (Revitalising the Gulf) response to the Sea Change plan which includes decisions which will only protect pockets […]

A century of trawling debates

July 7, 2021 Trawling and its effects on fish, people and future livelihoods has been a subject of debate for more than a century. A succession of Ministers have heard submissions, held meetings, drawn lines on maps and even established a commission of inquiry in 1918, yet we still have bottom trawling in many productive nursery grounds. Even […]

Tarakihi update

June 19, 2021 The High Court has ruled that in 2019 Stuart Nash, the then Minister of Fisheries, did not act legally when deciding on the management settings for tarakihi on the whole east coast. Tarakihi and the environment in which they live have been decimated by years of trawling, with the stock collapsing to just 16% of […]

LegaSea celebrates historic tarakihi legal decision

June 19, 2021 A high court decision that protects tarakihi sets a precedent for protecting other fish populations and is a milestone in fisheries management, says marine conservation group LegaSea. “It’s a hugely important judgement that has run under the radar”, said LegaSea spokesperson Sam Woolford. “Firstly, the court affirmed that decisions made by the previous Minister of […]

Kahawai stories

June 1, 2021 To celebrate National Kahawai Day 2021, we ran a competition asking you to share your kahawai-related stories. Here are some beautiful stories below.   Respect for kahawai – Andrew Penny “I will admit that it took some time to hold kahawai in the high regard that I do now. Growing up fishing in the Manukau, […]

A brief history of the Kahawai Legal Challenge

May 27, 2021 “But to see the kahawai at its best we have to go to New Zealand. There, huge shoals of these fish range the coast and work away up the inlets and rivers. One of these big bodies of fish on the move is a stirring sight.” –  Wal Hardy, The Saltwater Angler (1966).  Kahawai is […]

Opito Bay dive survey summary report. May 2021

May 20, 2021 A healthy scallop population has provided for the social, economic and cultural wellbeing of mana whenua for centuries and coastal Coromandel communities for decades. There is growing concern by Ngāti Hei and local interests about the depletion of scallops in Opito Bay at the end of the Kūaotunu Peninsula on the eastern side of the […]

Science shows Coromandel scallop beds are in decline

May 12, 2021 A new report shows some scallop beds off the Coromandel coast are unlikely to recover from their current depleted state, and locals are concerned that ongoing dredging will threaten the future of the delicacy. The report summarises a dive survey commissioned by the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council in 2020. In some areas of Opito […]

Appetite to ban trawling and dredging

April 27, 2021 Trawling in the Hauraki Gulf has been a contentious issue for more than a century so the Hauraki Gulf Forum’s recent policy decision to remove all industrial bottom trawling and scallop dredging from the entire Marine Park is welcome news. The resolution is being celebrated by communities from north Auckland to Waihi, at the southern […]

A higher target for more fish – B50

April 26, 2021 New Zealand’s so-called world leading quota management system is an abject failure. That is the inconvenient truth. After 35 years we still have fisheries that are not abundant enough to meet people’s needs. Rebuilding depleted fish stocks to levels that are both sustainable for the ocean and the economy would mean great things for our […]

Reel Questions with Tom Hishon

April 9, 2021 Tom Hishon is the Executive Chef and co-founder of kingi, a sustainable seafood restaurant in downtown Auckland that focuses on supporting independent fishers from around New Zealand.

It’s time to ditch the dredge

March 26, 2021 Whether there is a seafloor hardened by rock structures, a seafloor soft and sandy, or a seafloor teeming with coral life, a single pass of a scallop dredge can reduce the total number of creatures on the seafloor by around 60 percent. A countless number of sea creatures use the seafloor as their home or […]

Self-regulating commercial fishing plan fails at first hurdle

March 25, 2021 Years of poor fisheries management by successive governments under the Quota Management System (QMS) has resulted in tarakihi populations along the east coast of both islands falling to just 15% of their original population size. In 2019, the previous Minister of Fisheries responded to this crisis with a token 10 percent cut in commercial catch […]

Communities rally to ban scallop dredging in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park

March 23, 2021 Today the Hauraki Gulf Forum has confirmed its policy to remove all industrial bottom trawling and scallop dredging harvest techniques from the entire Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. This has come after a series of presentations around consequences and community actions of banning recreational dredging by LegaSea, Ngāti Hei, Ngāti Paoa and Revive Our Gulf. Years […]

Community push for improved fisheries management

March 18, 2021 On a cool summer’s morning a crew of 14 from LegaSea were standing on Oneroa Beach, Waiheke Island, watching the sun come up over the crowd gathered to celebrate the start of a rāhui. The rāhui means no harvesting of scallops, mussels, crayfish and pāua within one nautical mile of the Waiheke shoreline for at […]

Do we really have it better than Australia?

March 7, 2021 As Kiwis we like to think we have it over our trans-Tasman neighbours yet in terms of fisheries management the Queenslanders are beating us hands down. The Queensland government has committed to managing their fish stocks at much higher abundance levels compared to New Zealand. If we don’t follow their lead there will be increasing […]

Chester’s support for local conservation efforts

February 25, 2021 Westies are a special bunch. Westie tradies are even more special. For the past 31 years the Fanatical Fishos fishing competition for plumbers has raised funds for Coastguard and recreational fishing. This year LegaSea is pleased to report that we have received $6000 from Grant Chester of Chesters Plumbing and Bathroom Centre New Lynn, Auckland. […]

Voluntary scallop ban working

February 25, 2021 This summer people of the Coromandel and Bay of Plenty have taken bold steps to address concerns about the depleted state of local scallop beds. The community and visitors have largely complied with a voluntary ban on taking scallops from Opito Bay on the eastern side of the Coromandel Peninsula, exceeding expectations over the busy […]

Hawke’s Bay artificial reefs

February 9, 2021 In January 2021, LegaSea Hawke’s Bay and the Napier Port team announced a second artificial reef has been constructed, located off Napier’s coastline at the ‘Gwen B’ shipwreck site. This second artificial reef follows on from the construction of a first larger artificial reef created last year, near Pania Reef with over 8000 cubic metres […]

Recreational fishers rallying support for Waiheke rāhui

January 30, 2021 The declining numbers of scallops, mussels, crayfish and paua has prompted Ngāti Pāoa to declare a rāhui banning all harvest of these species around Waiheke Island for two years and recreational fishers are supporting the initiative.  Representatives of the largest organisations of recreational fishing interests will attend the customary rāhui ceremony at 5.30am on Sunday […]

Public urged to support voluntary scallop ban

January 29, 2021 A voluntary ban has been put in place to stop all take of scallops from Opito Bay on the eastern side of the Coromandel Peninsula. The Opito Bay community is asking the public to respect the ban over the summer of 2020-21. Signs have been installed at local boat ramps and information is available at […]

No diving or dredging for Coromandel scallops

January 26, 2021 The clear, calm waters of Opito Bay hide the stark reality that very few scallops survive on the eastern side of the Coromandel Peninsula. Once prolific scallop beds are so few and far between we now have an untenable situation. LegaSea has received multiple reports of commercial interests prospecting on the western side of Coromandel, […]

Paul Barnes obituary

January 20, 2021 Paul was a successful businessman who operated Paul’s Fishing Kites for 33 years, an inventor, a fisherman, and a conservationist. Paul and Peggy Barnes were the backbone of The 4 Principles that underpinned everything option4 stood for put us all on solid ground and made us safe to do the right thing. His advocacy […]

A wrap of 2020

January 18, 2021 The past 12 months has been a rollercoaster ride for most of us, and on the fisheries front the year has been equally undulating. After a couple of ‘nearly there’ Coronavirus-interrupted moments we finally launched the Rescue Fish campaign in late May. What’s more, our New Zealand Sport Fishing Council fisheries team had a record-breaking […]

Best antidote for 2020

January 10, 2021 After an off-season of uncertainty, lockdowns and boat maintenance the rewards are taking family and friends out on the boat. There’s nothing quite like the squeals from kids as they hook up to their first fish, or the splutter as they see the underwater seascape for the first time. These good times depend on having […]

Are we daunted by depletion?

December 21, 2020 It can be quite scary when you realise that we don’t know much about what is happening at sea or the state of our fish stocks. That’s because there’s not enough onboard cameras or observers to monitor at-sea activity. What’s more, 56 percent of targeted fish stocks in the Quota Management System (QMS) have never […]

Coromandel locals’ restoration plan for scallops

December 17, 2020 The decline in scallop numbers on the eastern side of Coromandel Peninsula has prompted Opito Bay locals to join forces and initiate a programme to restore stocks of the delicacy, starting with a survey to establish how many scallops actually remain in the Bay. The survey will be officially launched at a morning ceremony on […]

Opito Bay scallop depletion is not acceptable

December 9, 2020 Fresh scallops are one of life’s pleasures, and if you gather them yourself there is untold satisfaction in sharing that kaimoana with your family and friends. The low numbers of scallops in many traditional gathering areas means people holidaying around the Coromandel Peninsula may miss out on a meal of scallops this summer. Reports from […]

Where are the delicious scallops?

December 2, 2020 Divers, divers everywhere, not a scallop to be seen. We’ve had some grim reports recently about the lack of scallops in Opito Bay, on the eastern seaboard of the Coromandel Peninsula and on the western side of the Peninsula. Sadly, these are not isolated cases of depletion. They represent further examples of poor management of […]

Let’s go hard and fast to rebuild our fisheries

November 26, 2020 The response to the coronavirus threat is proof that our government can go hard and fast when they commit to protecting the interests of all New Zealanders. There are plenty of good reasons why the new government must act with the same haste and financial commitment to rebuild our depleted inshore fish stocks. The Quota […]

Let’s aim to protect 100% of marine areas

October 26, 2020 Calls are getting louder for 30 percent marine protected areas out to 200 nautical miles, including a network of no-take zones. There are major concerns with this set-and-forget strategy. Applying MPA fishing closures to some of our most productive areas will inevitably displace effort, intensifying depletion and biodiversity loss in the other 70% of the […]

Fishing for every Kiwi

September 25, 2020 “Before there were freezers, the fish were left in the ocean until they were needed.” An insightful comment from Dr Davianna Pomaika’i McGregor, director of the University of Hawaii’s Centre for Oral History. She has a deep interest in the indigenous Hawaiian ethos of only taking what you need. Closer to home Maori often express […]

Recreational fishers vote in favour of scallop dredging ban

September 23, 2020 Recreational groups have come out strongly in support of the need to ban fishing techniques that damage the seabed in coastal marine waters. Increasingly, science shows that damage to the seafloor caused by fishing is having an exponential impact on the overall health of our marine ecosystems. At the Annual General Meeting of the New […]

Cameras on boats. Is it just another election promise?

September 9, 2020 The process to get monitoring cameras on board commercial fishing vessels is a debacle according to public awareness group LegaSea. The reality, it’s another promise made weeks before an election that won’t be initiated until after the following election cycle. “Cameras on board fishing vessels have been promised by fisheries Ministers since 2014, and last […]

Fishing in abundance

September 1, 2020 Rescue Fish is aimed at increasing the numbers and size of fish in our coastal waters, and in doing so, restoring biodiversity in the marine ecosystem. It will take a collective effort and behavioural changes by all of us to achieve success. A major change will be learning how to fish in an abundant fishery. […]

NZ Underwater signs MoU

August 30, 2020 The New Zealand Underwater Association (NZUA) has signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with LegaSea and the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council. The Association is the latest organisation to commit to working alongside LegaSea and the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council to create more abundant coastal fisheries. These groups have committed to working together to […]

Fishing continues despite illegal trawling

August 29, 2020 Surely not. A trawler caught illegal fishing in a protected area can continue to operate even when the Court has ordered its forfeiture to the Crown. In late July Sealord Group was ordered by the Nelson District Court to forfeit a vessel worth $24 million. The company also forfeited the catch, and its crew were […]

Politicians need to stand up for change

August 1, 2020 After seven years of meetings, planning and reports, officials have been told to start actioning improvements to the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. The Park extends from Pakiri in the north to Waihi in the Bay of Plenty. These waters have been degraded by decades of use, abuse and management paralysis. In a joint submission to […]

Rescue Fish to avoid US ban of New Zealand seafood

July 31, 2020 We always knew Kiwis were passionate about their fishing. The reaction to the Rescue Fish policy has confirmed that we also care about prioritising the health of our marine environment. Rescue Fish – Ika Rauora is a policy developed by LegaSea and New Zealand Sport Fishing Council to remedy depleted fish stocks and address the […]

Rescue Fish – more fish in the sea

July 29, 2020 Kiwis have had enough of indiscriminate bulk harvesting fishing methods and are refusing to tolerate the fish depletion and habitat destruction that follows. Bottom trawling and dredging in sensitive inshore waters damages important juvenile fish habitat and kills seabed creatures. Purse seining removes layers of life important to foraging seabirds and marine communities. Fundamental change is […]

Solution to bycatch and fish dumping

July 15, 2020 A report to the international Sea Around Us project in 2016 found New Zealand dumped an estimated 14 million tonnes of fish between 1950 and 2010. That’s enough fish to feed New Zealand for 125 years. While much of the dumping occurred in the deep water fisheries, it is still occurring in the inshore fisheries […]

A more productive Kiwi lifestyle

July 1, 2020 Small scale fishermen are the tradies of the sea. These guys and girls head out to sea, rain or shine, to bring back fresh fish. Many of these small scale fishermen don’t own any quota so they end up leasing access rights, fishing for someone else’s benefit. Quota is king under the Quota Management System […]

Rescue Fish – 100% marine protection

June 2, 2020 As fish stocks deplete and the inshore environment degrades the calls for marine protection grow louder. Most often this translates into a demand for more marine reserves. However, a reserve is no protection against wider biodiversity loss, as we have witnessed with Goat Island marine reserve. There are now fewer crayfish in the reserve than […]

Rescue Fish – Steps to abundance

June 2, 2020 Rescue Fish requires the Crown to buy back existing commercial quota shares in the inshore fisheries at fair value. The combination of the initial buy-back and an equally large ongoing revenue stream from selling fishing permits with attached resource rentals means this would be at least fiscally neutral to the Crown over the long term. […]

Our fisheries crisis

June 2, 2020 The management and governance of our fisheries is in crisis. There is widespread concern about declining fish stocks and biodiversity loss in our marine environment. The Fisheries Act 1996 has not been adequately applied to achieve its primary purpose of sustainable use of fisheries resources to provide for our collective well-being. Management has descended into […]

Motiti and RMA fishing controls update

June 1, 2020 Recent court decisions concerning waters around Motiti Island in the Bay of Plenty have surprised the recreational fishing public. The Court has essentially approved the ability for Regional Councils to control fishing under the Resource Management Act (RMA), to protect indigenous biodiversity. These decisions mean there is potential to close many fishing areas in the […]

Rescue Fish. A pathway to abundance

June 1, 2020 Kiwis care about fish depletion and habitat destruction. Concerns about these problems have been a driving force behind the development of the Rescue Fish policy. LegaSea and the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council have released the policy to generate public discussion and consensus on the need for reform of fisheries management in New Zealand. The […]

The insanity of the QMS creates opportunities

May 30, 2020 “Only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change.” Milton Friedman. The oft quoted definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result. Equally bizarre is the expectation that bulk harvesting our precious fish stocks will deliver the wealth and prosperity we need to get our economy back […]

It’s winter kingfish time

May 15, 2020 New Zealand has a world class yellowtail kingfish fishery. Out of the 37 International Game Fish Association claimed world records for southern yellowtail, 35 have been captured in New Zealand and two captured in Australia. Popular with travelling international fishers, they are also a highly prized sport fish for Kiwis.  The economic and social value […]

Spotlight on political donations and decisions

April 24, 2020 Serious concerns have been raised after revelations that some donations to political parties are going unreported. The spotlight has been on New Zealand First Party in particular due to its funding by the New Zealand First Foundation. Of broader concern is the influence that donations may be having on policy and decision making. LegaSea’s research […]

Will fish stocks benefit from no fishing during the Covid-19 lockdown?

April 23, 2020 Restricting fishing during the Covid-19 lockdown may have short-term benefits for some fish stocks. The restrictions are unlikely to make a measurable difference to depleted stocks. Depleted fish stocks will only rebuild if meaningful catch reductions are applied and the productivity of the marine environment is restored, by banning destructive bulk harvesting fishing methods from […]

Depletion forces closure in Bay of Islands

March 27, 2020 Locals in the northern Bay of Islands have succeeded in getting legal protection for mussels around the Black Rocks and out to the Ninepin. The Minister of Fisheries Stuart Nash has approved a bylaw that prohibits anyone taking green-lipped, blue and black mussels from within the Te Puna Mataitai, from March 23rd, 2020. The bylaw […]

Let’s be more careful with our crayfish

March 20, 2020 If diamonds are a girl’s best friend then crayfish must be a diver’s best friend. And no matter where you go around the country crayfish is a significant species for environmental, customary, recreational and commercial fishing interests. Recently our fisheries team submitted in response to proposals for the future management of crayfish in Northland, Gisborne, […]

Update on Motiti, RMA fishing controls, and the NZSFC response

March 19, 2020 Recent court decisions concerning waters around Motiti Island have surprised the recreational fishing public. The Court has essentially approved the ability for regional council’s to control fishing under the Resource Management Act (RMA). These decisions mean that there is potential for the closure of fishing areas in the Territorial Sea all around New Zealand. The […]

Combating crayfish poaching

March 10, 2020 Poaching of fish is not new, it goes back centuries. In old England landlords refused to allow starving peasants to fish in the rivers and streams running through their properties. The peasants took their chances under the cover of darkness if they wanted to feed their family fish. Nowadays poaching operations are a lot more […]

Crayfish. How low can we go?

February 28, 2020 In just two generations we have managed to pillage our crayfish stocks to such historic low levels that in many areas there are few, if any, left for locals to enjoy. Taking more than 80 per cent of the original crayfish stock size then sustaining it at that low level is inviting disaster, by altering […]

New Zealanders deeply suspect fishing industry donations will influence MPs’ decisions

February 26, 2020 A huge majority of New Zealanders think fishing industry donations to Members of Parliament at the last election have the potential to “strongly influence” decisions the MPs make according to a poll conducted by Horizon Research. The poll, which asked more than 1,000 people how much they felt donations by companies with large fishing investments […]

Don’t get caught out on April Fool’s Day – UPDATED

February 25, 2020 UPDATE 2: Rules applying to recreational catch of rock lobster in CRA2 have changed as of 1 July 2020. We await information from Fisheries New Zealand and will advise details when these are available. UPDATE: MPI has advised LegaSea that the decision to change the crayfish bag limits in CRA2 not yet been ratified by […]

How much do we catch?

February 17, 2020 Snapper, kahawai and blue cod are the most popular saltwater finfish caught and kept by recreational fishers in New Zealand. As you would expect, snapper is the most common fish taken, representing nearly half of the national finfish landings. We now have two reliable surveys of recreational harvest using the same methods so the results […]

Bitter sweet times for fishers

February 15, 2020 When times are tough it’s great to have good friends around and Lily Alexander is one of those. For her 10th birthday, in late 2019, she decided to do something remarkable. Lily decided to forgo birthday presents. Instead of presents she asked all her friends to bring money so she could donate it to LegaSea. […]

Potential fishing closures in Northland

February 10, 2020 After years of bearing witness to declining fish stocks and inshore trawling a Maori Trust in the Bay of Plenty has taken the initiative to protect indigenous biodiversity. As a result of a complex legal process the Court of Appeal recently ruled that Regional Councils are obliged to actively protect indigenous biodiversity in the marine […]

Proactive management in the Bay of Islands

February 4, 2020 Local Kaitiaki [guardians] held a hui in December to discuss putting a ban on taking mussels from the northern area in the Bay of Islands, until they regrow. Consultation with the local community was largely supportive and now we await a Ministerial decision. LegaSea attended the December hui and expressed support for this initiative as […]

Cameras – what is there to hide?

February 1, 2020 In 2013 the government committed to 100% camera or observer coverage of all trawl vessels on the northeast coast, by October 2015. In June 2019 the present government promised us that 28 at-risk vessels on the west coast of the North Island would have cameras and monitoring by November. The roll-out to the remaining commercial […]

Innovation is the future for commercial fishing

January 26, 2020 LegaSea is celebrating the courage of Karl and Sarah Warr from Hawke’s Bay who have installed cameras on their trawler to livestream their fishing activity 24/7. This Napier couple wants the public to see for themselves how their fish is caught. They are hopeful that consumers will start asking their suppliers if the food they […]

Kai Ika project epitomises the joy of giving

December 19, 2019 Thanks to a raft of support from many organisations and funders the Kai Ika project is ramping up to a new level. The Kai Ika project is facilitated by LegaSea, the Outboard Boating Club of Auckland (OBC) and Papatuanuku Kokiri Marae. Its success can be attributed to the commitment of all the volunteers involved in […]

NIWA’s summer snapper hunt

December 19, 2019 Reports that snapper have been caught in waters around Fiordland and Dunedin have raised a few eyebrows, and the prospect that warming waters may be affecting fish distribution. We don’t know how environmental changes will affect spawning success or how many juveniles will eventually make it to adulthood in these changing environments. In an effort […]

Tis the season to be sharing

December 19, 2019 Fishing tends to bring out the best in us so whether you are at home or away this summer there is an easy way to share your unwanted fish parts with someone who would relish the gift. There are thousands of people who have registered online to receive fish heads, frames or even the wings, […]

Dead fish raise more questions

December 19, 2019 Questions remain around the mass of dead fish floating around the Hauraki Gulf and landing on the beaches of Kawau Island over the past week. Ministry for Primary Industries advise they received a report of the “accidental loss” of 1,000 kilos of mackerel from a commercial vessel fishing outside Kawau Island. Another report suggests the […]

Getting a grip on our catch

December 18, 2019 At this time of year we often hear wailing about recreational fishers taking too many fish and how that threatens overall sustainability. The good news is twofold. One, we still have good access to fisheries that thousands of Kiwis enjoy over summer. Secondly, we have new national survey results that show that recreational harvest is […]

LegaSea is not anti-commercial fishing

December 9, 2019 Let’s get real, LegaSea is not anti-commercial fishing. We want small-scale, low impact commercial fishing to be successful. LegaSea is against the Quota Management System and an inadequate Fisheries Act that fails to protect our fish stocks for future generations. Far from being innovative, over the past 30 years the QMS has been a backward […]

Warning signals cannot be ignored

November 30, 2019 A recent government report on the state of our marine environment raises legitimate concerns about the lack of information on fishing levels, the impacts of fishing, and that fishing has become more industrialised. The report, Environment Aotearoa 2019 was a joint initiative by the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ. The report authors make […]

Lack of clarity around Bay of Plenty closures

November 29, 2019 Prime fishing areas in the Bay of Plenty have been targeted for closure and LegaSea along with local fishers are pushing back. The closures of some reefs and islands in the area around Motiti are supported by Court decisions, although subject to appeal. The New Zealand Sport Fishing Council has registered as an “interested party” […]

Money is king when it comes to tarakihi

November 22, 2019 From October 1st Stuart Nash has reduced the commercial catch of tarakihi on the east coast of the North and South Islands by 10 percent. LegaSea was calling for a 40 percent reduction. The arguments for minimal cuts were bolstered by an economic report commissioned by Fisheries New Zealand describing the impacts of any changes […]

Breakdowns caused by QMS failure

November 20, 2019 In the Bay of Plenty we don’t have to look far for evidence that the Quota Management System is not working. LegaSea is concerned that the failure of the QMS is having major consequences. Moreover, the inaction by Fisheries New Zealand and the Minister of Fisheries Stuart Nash to address the serious issues of depletion […]

Why the QMS has to go

November 15, 2019 There is a growing call that the Quota Management System has to go. It is not fit for purpose because it is not delivering on its goals of resource sustainability and economic efficiency. Our fisheries managers need to start applying the environmental and precautionary principles in the Fisheries Act 1996 otherwise Regional Councils will step […]

Talk is cheap

November 10, 2019 In the same week that our Prime Minister is explaining the Maori concept of kaitiakitanga, guardianship, to the United Nations her fisheries Minister is at home setting catch limits way too high for some fish stocks. Stuart Nash announced his decisions for 20 fish stocks four days before they were due to come into effect […]

Many versions of sustainability

November 6, 2019 LegaSea is clear that decisive action needs to be taken now to protect our fish stocks from collapse. That means putting the handbrake on catch increases until we know more about how many fish are in the water. No such restraint is evidenced in the latest management proposals from Fisheries New Zealand. FNZ has just […]

Stop killing our life support system

November 5, 2019 There are a lot of things people did in the 1900s that are not acceptable today. One of those unacceptable behaviours is bottom trawling in inshore waters. Science shows us that bottom trawling catches fish indiscriminately and it impacts on the seabed, killing the three dimensional structure that supports essential organisms. Those organisms attract small […]

Why is trawling and dredging allowed inshore?

November 5, 2019 In 2017 MPI openly admitted that bottom trawling and dredging are the most destructive fishing methods, causing damage to seabed habitats and reducing the density and diversity of the species that live there. So why is trawling and dredging still permitted inshore? Mitigating the effects of fishing on the marine environment is a core function […]

The destructiveness of bottom trawling

October 30, 2019 Bottom trawling is an industrial fishing method that involves dragging a large, weighted net along the seafloor with the intention of mass collection. In this short video, Dr Simon Thrush, a marine scientist from Auckland University, discusses how bottom trawling works and why it is so destructive. LegaSea believes bottom trawling needs to be stopped […]

Kiwis want tarakihi fishing quota cut significantly amid major concern over fisheries management

October 17, 2019 Seventy percent of New Zealanders want the commercial fishing quota for tarakihi cut dramatically to help the country’s fish and chips favourite to recover, a new survey has revealed. The survey conducted by Horizon Research for LegaSea, a not-for-profit organisation raising awareness of issues affecting the marine environment, found 70% want a cut of between […]

No escape from the truth

October 8, 2019 LegaSea is intrigued by MPI’s reaction to the most recent report of recreational harvest estimates. Since 2012 total recreational catch of finfish is down by 19% and shellfish and other non-finfish species catch has reduced by 41%. On the day the harvest estimate report was released MPI ignored those details and instead made out that […]

What’s the real agenda for catch shares?

October 4, 2019 There have been several government-led attempts in the past to force recreational fishing into the Quota Management System, all have failed. More ominous are the recent catch share proposals funded by big business interests, local and international. The common theme is that recreational fishing is an out of control sector requiring “management” via a fixed […]

The hefty price of protection

September 30, 2019 Fishing on the west coast is not for the faint-hearted and future prospects are about to change for many people. There are some disturbing aspects to the recent joint proposal by Sanford, Moana fisheries and WWF-New Zealand to protect Maui dolphin on the west coast of the North Island. We all agree on the need […]

Fish n chip favourite in danger

September 27, 2019 A ten per cent cut to commercial catch limits of tarakihi will not be enough to save the species from its depleted state, says LegaSea. On September 27th the Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash announced his management plan to restore the East Coast tarakihi fishery by applying a ten per cent cut to commercial catch limits […]

Twisted versions of sustainability

September 13, 2019 Decisive action needs to be taken to protect our fish stocks from collapse. That means putting the handbrake on catch increases until we know more about how many fish are in the water. No such restraint is evidenced in the latest management proposals from Fisheries New Zealand for several South Island stocks including gurnard, rig […]

Summary of recent submissions

August 28, 2019 LegaSea recently worked with the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council’s fisheries management team and the New Zealand Angling & Casting Association to develop and submit eight responses to proposals from Fisheries New Zealand. These submission are briefly summarised below. Tarakihi East coast North and South Islands. Minister’s decision – decrease the Total Allowable Commercial Catch […]

Tarakihi – a fish and chip favourite

August 22, 2019 Tarakihi are a popular table fish for good reason. They have nice flaky, white flesh which makes them suitable for a variety of dishes when eaten fresh. Sadly, good catches are becoming few and far between and that can be put down to the poor state of east coast tarakihi stocks. This is a concern […]

Committed guardians of Marlborough

August 12, 2019 The mere mention of fishing in the Marlborough Sounds incites a range of responses, from happy memories to deep concern for the environment. These reactions are a reflection of how passionate people are about the Sounds. That passion was evident at the recent Annual General Meeting of the Marlborough Recreational Fishers Association held in Blenheim. […]

No more small dead fish

August 6, 2019 Dining at a food court in the city guarantees a range of flavours and types of food to suit your appetite. On the dark side, at some of these eateries there are small fish legally available for sale. Often these fish are surrounded by a tasty sauce and gleefully consumed by hungry customers with little […]

Changes to charter boat rules

July 24, 2019 Fisheries New Zealand has released management proposals that will affect 13 inshore finfish and shellfish stocks, and seven deepwater stocks. If changes are approved, they will apply from October this year. FNZ information is available online. Changes to the reporting regime for charter boat operators are also proposed. Since 2010 charter vessels have been required […]

Tarakihi review – take time out

July 19, 2019 Tarakihi management is under review and we need you to get stuck in and support the Minister to make a precautionary decision aimed at rebuilding depleted stocks on the east coast between Otago and Northland. Last year over 9000 of us signed LegaSea’s Time Out for Tarakihi petition calling for the Minister to cut commercial […]

The madness of trying to manage fisheries with property rights

July 18, 2019 The Quota Management System has short-changed fish, mana whenua and the public since it was established in 1986. The system was set up with the quota owners having to pay resource rentals. This only lasted a few years. For the past 30 years the commercial fishing industry has not paid for the use of these […]

Low impact fisheries in protected areas

July 15, 2019 Anyone fishing from shore knows that it’s a tough gig. So many elements such as the tide, wind, and swell have to be right before you even get your line wet. As fish stocks decline so do your chances of success. Some days it comes down to a choice between buying burley to increase your […]

LegaSea grateful for boat show success

June 27, 2019 “One of the best ever” is how Sam Woolford, LegaSea Project Leader, describes the recent Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show in Auckland. Thanks to the generosity and support of show organisers LegaSea was at the 4-day event in May signing up new LegaSea Legends, acknowledging existing supporters, and spending time with our much valued Partners. […]

No to removing minimum fish sizes

June 15, 2019 Allowing commercial fishers to land fish of any size is not good fishers management. That was the response from recreational fishers when Fisheries New Zealand suggested removing the minimum size limits for commercially caught fish such as snapper, tarakihi, trevally and flounder. In the Bay of Plenty some of these species are well below sustainable […]

Blue cod proposals unfairly target amateurs

June 3, 2019 When it comes to blue cod fishing most of the rule changes over the past 10 years have applied to recreational fishing. These changes have had major impacts on the social, economic and cultural wellbeing of people and businesses in some areas of the South Island. So, it’s bizarre that after a decade of changes […]

Lloyd Hanson – a real fishing and hunting Kiwi bloke

May 30, 2019 Tribute by Tony Orman The recent passing of Lloyd Hanson will be felt far and wide. An estimated 500 people attended his funeral in Blenheim, reflecting his influence in many outdoor related causes and the high esteem of the man. Lloyd loved being in the great outdoors, whether it was saltwater or trout fishing, or […]

Joint effort to save “kauri forests of our ocean”

May 15, 2019 New Zealand’s leading environmental organisations have today joined with recreational fishers to call on the Government to ban bottom trawling on seamounts. The Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC), ECO, Forest and Bird, Greenpeace, LegaSea and WWF-New Zealand are urging the public to sign a petition to the Minister of Fisheries, Stuart Nash, and the Minister […]

Behaviour and gear need to change

April 28, 2019 For people like us invested in improving the management of our taonga, our marine treasures, it is frustrating times. Four years after the Ministry for Primary Industries signalled it was reviewing aspects of the Quota Management System all we have is a watered down electronic reporting system for commercial catch and ongoing confusion over the […]

What can we do better?

April 20, 2019 In mid-March our team sent a comprehensive submission to Fisheries New Zealand calling for a broad look at fisheries management, to better understand why the Government has decided that electronic monitoring of commercial fishing activity is an unacceptable intrusion into fishing practices. It is important to know the reasons for this stance because other countries […]

Bizarre proposals encourage management paralysis

April 18, 2019 It has been a strange start to 2019 and the coalition government has contributed to the weirdness, especially in terms of fisheries management. On the one hand we have Labour Party policy supporting an independent inquiry into the Quota Management System, and on the other we have a coalition partner stonewalling the installation of cameras […]

Good times and mates go together

April 6, 2019 Cyclones are a regular feature of summers in Aotearoa, and while we haven’t experienced a direct hit this summer many events have been affected by activity in the Pacific. One of those events was the long-standing Fanatical Fishos fishing tournament organised by Chesters Plumbing and Bathroom Centre in New Lynn, Auckland. As the forecasters were […]

Fatal flaws in MPI plans

March 29, 2019 In February the Ministry for Primary Industries held a series of public meetings to discuss their latest proposals for the future management of commercial fishing. The Fisheries Change Programme is being welcomed by large quota owners who clearly expect the Minister to increase catch limits. However, if the proposals are pushed through commercial fishers on […]

You cannot be serious

March 28, 2019 In February the Ministry for Primary Industries issued a discussion paper Your fisheries – your say that proposed a range of measures to “simplify” the rules around discarding fish from commercial vessels. These included removing the minimum legal size limits for most species, paving the way for a land-all catch policy for commercial vessels and […]

Dead fish tell no lies

March 15, 2019 In early February the Minister Stuart Nash released proposals to incentivise good fishing practices and provide better information. Feedback to Ministry on the ‘Fisheries Change Programme’ is required by mid-March. On the surface the proposals seem okay, but when you pull up the blankets there are loopholes for commercial interests to slide through with no […]

No alibi for depleted crayfish stocks

March 8, 2019 Crayfish are an important species in the marine ecosystem so when we hear stories from experienced divers in the eastern Bay of Plenty who have only taken three crays in two years it’s pretty scary for all of us. Over January and February we worked with Spearfishing New Zealand to develop a submission responding to […]

Fiddling in the margins of reality

March 3, 2019 Stuart Nash the Minister of Fisheries has issued the ‘Fisheries Change Programme’ to tweak the way commercial fishing is managed. He awaits public feedback by mid-March. Meanwhile, we wait for meaningful changes that will rebuild abundance in our fisheries and restore the health of our marine environment. Fiddling around the margins of a broken Quota […]

Industrial fishing depletes the Bay of Empty

February 28, 2019 The governance of our marine fisheries is under increasing scrutiny because maintaining highly productive ecosystems has given way to transactional advocacy targeting every possible fish that can be justified. Local depletion and inter-tidal reefs stripped bare sees coastal communities and Kaitiaki [guardians] crying out for effective restraints. Clearly the current system is not working and […]

Investing in our kids and country

February 27, 2019 The world of fisheries management, research and advocacy has become increasingly complex. So, it’s encouraging for LegaSea and our parent body the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council that there is a growing number of organisations willing to step up and help resource the necessary work. In the past year LegaSea has worked on five new […]

Hawke’s Bay stalwarts stepping aside

February 26, 2019 Toby and Venita Simcox have been at the forefront of LegaSea Hawke’s Bay since its inception in 2014. They are your typical volunteers, willing to take on any task that needed doing just to get the job done and make it better for everyone else. They remain passionate about the cause, but after five year’s […]

Fish dumping threatens our future

February 26, 2019 Kiwis are naturally offended by wastage and fish dumping is at the top of the pile. It is particularly offensive when commercial fishers are involved while their industry leaders continue to bombard us with messages of guardianship. Dumping is illegal and a blatant waste of our collective, precious marine resources. We must do better if […]

Summary of MPI Fisheries Change proposals

February 22, 2019 Senseless waste and dumping of commercial catch has been in the spotlight since 2013. Electronic monitoring of at-sea activity is underway but the rollout of onboard cameras to monitor fishing and discards has been stymied by fishing industry opposition. The latest proposals in MPI’s Fisheries Change Programme seeks to “simplify” the rules applying to commercial […]

When it comes to innovation talk is cheap

February 15, 2019 Talk is cheap. On the one hand we have fisheries managers and companies espousing value creation yet all we can see is the Quota Management System being used to benefit the supply chain while paralysing fisheries management and innovation. After 30 years of this QMS experiment we now realise quota control ought to have remained […]

Fake news is fiction

January 25, 2019 Fake news is fiction no matter how it is spun in print, online or via flash television adverts telling us how great the commercial fishing industry is at restraining themselves. At the same time, they are resisting cameras on boats because of privacy issues – yeah right. In contrast, when it comes to knowing what […]

Increasing calls to ban purse seining

January 20, 2019 There are growing calls to ban purse seining in our coastal waters. There have been numerous attempts to keep the seiners away from areas important to recreational fishers, to reduce conflict and protect forage species for seabirds and predatory fish. The New Zealand Sport Fishing Council has called on Fisheries New Zealand to better manage […]

Crayfish – the status quo is unacceptable

December 24, 2018 As we lurch our way into the silly season it is only natural that our thoughts turn to fishing and diving for the delicacies we have dreamt about all year. Crayfish is on the top of many people’s wish list, to say thanks to someone special, for sharing with the whanau or as a holiday […]

One little squeeze is all it takes

December 23, 2018 What are we talking about?  The amount of pressure or time it takes to crush the barb on your hook with a pair of pliers. In FishCare – The school of best practice LegaSea describes how one little squeeze with the pliers can have a profound effect on the success of your catch and release […]

Utilisation and conservation a winning combination

December 22, 2018 In just two years the Kai Ika project in Auckland has gone from being a simple exchange of food and cultures, to a full-on waste minimisation effort that has seen over 22,000 kilos of unwanted fish parts repurposed as nutritious kai and organic fertiliser. It is so successful that people and organisations from around Aotearoa […]

Showing off in the Bay

December 5, 2018 When it comes to putting on a show Hawke’s Bay knows when to turn it on, and they did that to the max on Labour Weekend. The sun shone on Hawke’s Bay Anniversary Day and into the long weekend enabling our LegaSea Hawke’s Bay crew to engage with the locals at the annual A & […]

Conservation worth celebrating

December 2, 2018 It is not very often we get to celebrate good news in fisheries management but it’s worth popping the corks for this conservation initiative. In September the 34,000 strong New Zealand Sport Fishing Council announced it was promoting a voluntary reduction of the recreational crayfish bag limit in the Hauraki Gulf and Bay of Plenty. […]

Celebrating 40 years of friendship

November 23, 2018 In cyberspace we can lay claim to as many virtual friends as we like, but you soon find out who your real friends are when you hit troubled waters. And so it was for recreational fishers back in mid-2000. In July that year the Minister of Fisheries delivered Soundings, a package of proposals that would, […]

The emptiness of purse seining

November 10, 2018 Mentioning purse seining and depleted bait schools in the same sentence instantly raises the heckles of many fishers. There could be some good news on the horizon. Recently the Cook Island’s Court of Appeal upheld a challenge by locals to the way the Cook’s government permits purse seining in their waters. The Court said the […]

Kai Ika project a runaway success

October 26, 2018 When two worlds collide the results can be catastrophic, when it comes to the Kai Ika project it is an outright success. In just two years over 19,000 kilos of fish parts that were previously wasted have been rescued and shared with needy families in South Auckland. Kai Ika is so successful that LegaSea and […]

Shelving not legitimate management

October 15, 2018 As part of the recent tarakihi review corporate commercial interests supported the shelving of tarakihi catch in lieu of the Minister reducing the Total Allowable Commercial Catch. We submitted against the shelving proposal. It is pleasing to report that Stuart Nash has rejected the proposal and applied cuts to commercial catches in the stock spanning […]

Minister’s commitments signal change

September 30, 2018 A positive to come out of the latest round of stock reviews is the Minister’s commitment to change or revisit some long-standing practices that we have objected to for many years. These include truncated consultation timeframes, the inconsistency in setting aside allowances for fishing related mortality, and recognising that current fishing practices need to change. […]

Tarakihi decision staves off the inevitable

September 28, 2018 LegaSea is bitterly disappointed that Stuart Nash has ignored more than 9000 of us calling for decisive cuts to commercial catches of tarakihi on the east coast of New Zealand. From October 1st the Minister of Fisheries has applied a 20% cut to commercial catches, while LegaSea has been campaigning for a 65% reduction. LegaSea […]

International recognition of recreational surveys

September 27, 2018 New Zealand’s recreational harvest surveys have been internationally recognised as being high quality. Experts have agreed that the methods used are robust, producing reliable results suitable for use in management decisions. LegaSea is pleased the peer-reviewed science has now been published, leaving no excuses for anyone to be spreading the old adage that ‘we don’t […]

LegaSea is not ‘anti-commercial fishers’

September 26, 2018 LegaSea is and never has been anti-commercial fishers, we just want to reduce the environmental impacts of bulk harvesting so we can have a more sustainable fishing future. That means getting rid of trawling, seining and dredging from inshore waters so fish populations are free to reproduce and thrive in a healthy marine environment. It […]

Minister fails New Zealand’s fishery

September 26, 2018 The recreational advocacy group LegaSea is bitterly disappointed the Minister of Fisheries has deferred making decisive cuts to commercial catches of tarakihi on New Zealand’s east coast for at least another year. In October Stuart Nash will apply a 20% cut to the commercial catch, while LegaSea has been campaigning for a 65% reduction. LegaSea […]

We can rescue our fisheries from depletion

September 20, 2018 We did it. In just 18 working days our fisheries team developed responses to nine fisheries management proposals, including a comprehensive and pragmatic solution to rebuild the east coast tarakihi stock. The latest science shows that decades of trawling from Northland to Otago has reduced the stock to 17% of its original size, below acceptable […]

Support for decisive tarakihi decision

September 18, 2018 This article was written prior to release of the Minister’s tarakihi decision. Thanks to a collective effort, LegaSea has gathered over 8000 signatures supporting the Minister to make a bold decision to rebuild tarakihi to abundant levels. Together we have called on the Minister to act decisively. Stuart Nash needs to cut commercial catches of […]

Tarakihi campaign success

September 15, 2018 This article was written prior to the release of the Minister’s tarakihi decision on 19th September 2018. LegaSea’s Time Out for Tarakihi campaign has closed with over 8000 people signing the petition urging the Minister to heed the best available science and cut commercial catches by 65%, so east coast stocks can rebuild to healthy […]

Calling time on the QMS

September 2, 2018 Crayfish on the northeast coast is just one of a litany of fish stocks well below what ordinary Kiwis would consider abundant and available. This dissatisfaction was evidenced during LegaSea’s recent Crayfish Crisis campaign when so many divers, fishers, and the New Zealand Underwater Association stood up and had their say. LegaSea was grateful for […]

Doing a u-turn on public service

August 27, 2018 In less time than it took to implement the Quota Management System and see its virtual demise, the public service has morphed into an array of government agencies operating on skin-tight budgets and answering primarily to corporate leaders. Fisheries is not immune. A rebranded Fisheries New Zealand (FNZ) is now just one layer of many […]

Conservation cannot be used as a weapon

August 25, 2018 This article was written prior to the release of the Minister’s tarakihi decision on 19th September 2018. LegaSea is celebrating the ongoing willingness of recreational fishers to conserve fish. On the flip side when we do volunteer conservation we need to make sure our collective efforts are effective and not used as a weapon against […]

Conviction of repeat offenders justifies MPI spending

August 14, 2018 LegaSea and the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council welcome the prosecution of Hawke’s Bay Seafood after the longest running district court case on record. The prosecution was brought against Antonino, Giancarlo and Marcus D’Espositofor falsifying catch records and exporting more fish to Australia than the company had reportedly caught. The Ministry for Primary Industries need […]

The Future Catch report

August 7, 2018 A draft report, ‘The Future Catch – Preserving recreational fisheries for the next generation’ was released on August 1st, 2017. The report is authored by Randall Bess, supported by The New Zealand Initiative, and funded by the US-based Aotearoa Foundation (Julian Robertson) and the late Sir Douglas Myers. This report follows a visit to Western […]

Time Out for Tarakihi

July 30, 2018 Tarakihi is a mealtime favourite for people who fish and those who buy it retail because it is notoriously good for cooking when fresh. Things are about to change between Otago and Northland. The main stocks on New Zealand’s east coast are severely depleted so substantial cuts to commercial catches are required to rebuild the […]

You can help rescue our tarakihi stocks

July 27, 2018 Tarakihi stocks on the eastern coasts of both islands are so depleted that the Minister of Fisheries must implement a rebuild plan before October 2018, and recreational fishing is in the firing line. Decades of trawling, dumping and high grading have taken their toll. Major catch reductions are required between Otago and North Cape if […]

What next for recreational fishing of tarakihi?

July 26, 2018 This article was written prior to the submission being completed and sent to Fisheries New Zealand. To see the current discussion on changes to recreational daily bag limits please read the submission in full here. Without exception, recreational fishers attending meetings with LegaSea have strongly supported conserving fish for future generations. Tarakihi management is currently […]

Unmasking a reluctant Ministry

July 6, 2018 Stuart Nash, Minister of Fisheries In just one week 48 separate items of news appeared in the media pointing to leaked reports identifying mass fish dumping, years of non-compliance, blatant under-reporting of thousands of tonnes of New Zealand fish and MPI senior officials turning a blind eye. How much more can we and our fisheries […]

FishCare – Lure techniques

June 29, 2018 Employing the right techniques in how we fish is the first step to reducing our impact on our fishery and the marine environment. All users of the resource, commercial, recreational and customary must fish in a responsible manner. The purpose of selective techniques is to avoid catching fish you don’t want e.g. undersized specimens. This […]

Action needed on tarakihi stocks

June 28, 2018 It is a common refrain from many of the older recreational fishers we meet, “Fish stocks are not what they used to be”. This year large cuts to tarakihi catch will be proposed for the whole east coast of the North and South Islands. It has taken several years for a stock assessment to be […]

Government must act on Primary Industry inaction

June 28, 2018 After years of Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) inaction over fishing regulation breaches, over-fishing, fish dumping and more, now it appears MPI has been asleep at the wheel on land as well. News this morning of yet another appalling breach of animal rights show the terrible state some of the nation’s animals are kept in, […]

Who will catch Southern Bluefin tuna?

June 27, 2018 In early May the Minister, Stuart Nash, announced an in-season increase to the Southern Bluefin tuna recreational allowance of 12 tonnes and an increase in the commercial annual catch entitlement (ACE) of 76 tonnes. A fresh decision on changing the Total Allowable Catch will need to be made before October. In the meantime, LegaSea and […]

Time runs out for QMS

June 12, 2018 The industry’s unwillingness to take observers on board fishing vessels is just the latest in a long line of examples of commercial fishers operating in bad faith and flouting the laws as if they own New Zealand’s fisheries. Forest and Bird has obtained information under the Official Information Act and say the refusals to take […]

Boat show success

June 6, 2018 The recent Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat show in Auckland was our most successful yet and LegaSea is grateful to the organisers and Dave Gibbs in particular for his, and their ongoing generosity. LegaSea simply couldn’t afford to be at the show in such a fulsome manner without their support. If you were one of the […]

No crayfish closure

May 26, 2018 Stuart Nash, Minister of Fisheries, has decided not to close the crayfish fishery between the Hauraki Gulf and Bay of Plenty, known as the CRA 2 region. Instead, annual catch limits for commercial and recreational fishers were reduced as of April 1st. The new Total Allowable Commercial Catch has been reduced from 200 to 80 […]

What more proof is needed before government acts?

May 24, 2018 We’ve seen the Heron Report on failures in our fishing industry, the Achilles and Hippocamp reports paint a devastating picture of the Ministry of Primary Industries working hand in glove with industry to avoid accountability, more recently we’ve seen the decimation of our crayfish stocks and now we’re told MPI and industry have been fudging […]

LegaSea celebrates CERT systems support

May 6, 2018 We welcome Brad Dannefaerd, Managing Director of CERT Systems to LegaSea and appreciate his contribution to LegaSea as a recent Building Sponsor. A number of CERT Systems staff have a strong interest in fisheries related issues having come from a former Fishery / Fisheries Officers from both NZ and Australia. CERT (Compliance, Enforcement and Regulatory […]

EDS’s Voices from the Sea is a wake-up call for industry

May 1, 2018 The Environmental Defence Society (EDS) has written a compelling tale of the destruction being wrought on our seas and fisheries and this must be a call to arms for the government. Voices from the Sea: Managing New Zealand’s Fisheries documents the devastation caused by commercial fishing to our marine bird life and mammals. The recreational […]

International recognition for our recreational harvest survey methods

April 28, 2018 The old chestnut of ‘we don’t know what recreational fishers catch’ can finally be put to bed. New Zealand’s methods of estimating recreational marine harvest are internationally recognised as being robust and reliable. A scientific paper has been published in the international peer-reviewed journal, Fisheries Research, highlighting the high-quality work being undertaken in Aotearoa. The report, […]

Bluenose make your eyes and mouth water

April 26, 2018 Stories of tussling with bluenose as big as our grandfather’s dreams were common in days past. And bluenose recipes to delight the taste buds of everyone around the table were passed down through the generations.  As stocks decline bluenose have retreated to small pockets of abundance, limiting our chances of getting a feed and consigning […]

Mixed bag of management changes for crayfish

April 23, 2018 In March the Minister of Fisheries Stuart Nash announced a raft of management changes for four crayfish stocks between the Hauraki Gulf and Southland. From April 1st there were commercial catch reductions in two stocks and increases for the Wellington-Hawke’s Bay region and the Southern – Fiordland fish stock. The joint submission from recreational fishers […]

Crayfish – The real test is looming

April 4, 2018 If you were one of the thousands of people who completed the LegaSea Crayfish Crisis survey in the past few months, thanks a lot. LegaSea appreciates your time and the information you shared to help us build a picture of what has changed in the cray fishery between Pakiri in the north and East Cape. […]

You count when it comes to crayfish

March 29, 2018 Crayfish play an important role in the marine ecosystem. They are a target species for many people and a taonga, a treasure, that is important to the social, economic and cultural wellbeing of all New Zealanders. An alliance of the largest representative recreational fishing organisations in New Zealand has responded to the Ministry for Primary […]

Recreational fishers welcome Minister’s actions on CRA2

March 27, 2018 LegaSea and the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council welcome the decision by the Minister of Fisheries Stuart Nash to reduce the allowable catch for crayfish in the Hauraki Gulf and Bay of Plenty, known as the CRA 2 region. The Minister has set the new limits for commercial fishing at 80 tonnes per year, set […]

LegaSea on the road

March 22, 2018 It’s competition time and the LegaSea team has been attending a raft of events around the country, presenting the FishCare programme and gathering responses to the Crayfish Crisis campaign. In the first seven weeks after the holiday break LegaSea has been involved in activities enabling us to engage with more than 2000 people. The opportunity […]

Conserving our crayfish

March 10, 2018 It is encouraging that so many recreational fishers have expressed a strong desire to conserve their crayfish catch in the interests of rebuilding the CRA 2 fishery between Te Arai Point in the north and East Cape. The MPI review of four crayfish management areas is now over and we await the Minister’s decisions that […]

What next for crayfish?

February 28, 2018 LegaSea awaits the Minister’s decision for the future management of four crayfish stocks by the end of March. The new catch levels for two North Island and two South Island stocks will apply from April 1st. In February our submission to the Ministry supported a major catch reduction in CRA 2, the status quo in […]

Cameras on boats – a vital step forward

February 16, 2018 Recreational fishing group LegaSea is calling on Minister of Fisheries Stuart Nash to stand firm against industry pressure to dump the introduction of cameras and electronic monitoring on commercial fishing boats. LegaSea is challenging industry claims that it is engaging in best practice fishing endeavours, and that cameras and other forms of monitoring are not […]

Fisheries review needs to be prioritised

February 5, 2018 Crayfish stocks are in crisis and recreational fishers are calling for an independent review of the fisheries management system. Currently, crayfish in the CRA 2 region (which extends from Pakiri through the Hauraki Gulf to the East Cape) are at an all-time low. The latest official assessment shows that the crayfish population has been in […]

Crayfish Crisis Outcome

January 24, 2018 Minister’s crayfish decision Stuart Nash, Minister of Fisheries, has announced there will be commercial catch reductions in two crayfish stocks including CRA 2, from April 1st 2018. There will also be commercial catch increases for the Wellington-Hawke’s Bay region (CRA 4) and the Southern – Fiordland (CRA 8) fish stock. Recreational fishers did not support […]

Restoring crayfish abundance must be a priority

January 24, 2018 “There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know”. This quote from John Heywood (1546) nicely sums up where we are at with crayfish management particularly on the northeast coast of the North Island. The CRA 2 fishery from […]

Making a difference for crayfish

January 20, 2018 LegaSea is pleased that the Minister Stuart Nash has agreed to review the crayfish fishery on the northeast coast after years of lobbying by thousands of individuals, the New Zealand Underwater Association, and the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council. Having the CRA 2 fish stock, between Waipu and East Cape, deplete to the point where […]

A grab for money and power in fisheries

January 5, 2018 Fisheries is one of the few management areas where the Minister has sole responsibility to apply discretion when making sustainable catch and allocation decisions. This discretionary power is currently under threat by those wanting to privatise our fisheries and LegaSea is pushing back.Our fisheries are a publicly owned national treasure that must be properly managed […]

Ministerial discretion must be retained

January 5, 2018 When LegaSea was first invited to have input into The Future Catch project by Dr Randall Bess we were excited because the project was described as a well funded study to improve recreational fishing. It didn’t take long to realise that this was yet another attempt to upgrade commercial rights to our fisheries and remove […]

Chasing our dreams brings rewards

December 31, 2017 As we close in on another year of fishing LegaSea is celebrating that in 2017 we have collectively spent about one billion dollars chasing our dreams. This recreational activity generated over one and a half billion dollars of economic activity in New Zealand. This is big bucks when you consider we take less than 3% […]

Privatisation means licensing

November 29, 2017 After 30 years of neoliberal free-market policies there are few public resources left that we can call our own, fresh water and fisheries are two that are currently under threat. Privatisation of freshwater aquifers for minimal returns has been one of 2017’s hot topics. The conversation around further privatisation of New Zealand’s saltwater fisheries has […]

Seagrass hides hidden treasures

November 24, 2017 For a long time we suspected that seagrass meadows were important to the life-cycle of fish, we just didn’t know how significant. A large-scale survey across New Zealand found regional differences in the species and numbers of juvenile fish hiding in amongst the seagrass beds. Undoubtedly further research will reveal more secrets over time. What […]

Appointment of new Minister signals a brighter future for all

November 23, 2017 LegaSea welcomes the new government’s decision to appoint Stuart Nash as Minister of Fisheries, the first step in breaking apart the monolith that is the Ministry for Primary Industries. All the signals so far point to a fresh approach to fisheries management, more meaningful engagement and potentially the inclusion of recreational interests in future decision-making […]

Sharing is conservation

November 14, 2017 A pilot scheme involving an Auckland boating club and local marae is drawing widespread acclaim for its conservation gains and the coming together of people from different walks of life. The joint project is underpinned by principles of sharing and caring for our environment and each other, and could easily be replicated in other parts […]

NIWA survey to count fish

October 28, 2017 Two important surveys are under way to measure harvest by marine recreational fishers. LegaSea encourages you to cooperate with the researchers if they phone you or approach you on the boat ramp. Over the next 12 months NIWA will be measuring and counting fish landed by recreational anglers at popular boat ramps. This large-scale survey […]

LegaSea Annual Report

October 27, 2017 LegaSea held its Annual General Meeting in mid-September and the presentation of the Annual Report was well received by over 100 attendees. It has been a year of growth and outreach for LegaSea. Outreach It is exciting and encouraging to have Yachting New Zealand and the New Zealand Underwater Association stepping up to support our […]

A grand donation humbles LegaSea

October 27, 2017 LegaSea was honoured to receive a thousand dollar donation from the Hauraki Gulf Sportfishing Club recently. This is a club of less than a hundred members, all of whom are committed to ensuring a better fishing experience in the future. Club representative Peter Stewart took the opportunity to hand the $1000 cheque over to the […]

FAQ – Why do we still fish in spawning season?

October 26, 2017 A question we hear every year Spawning success depends on a range of environmental factors ranging from the weather to water temperature or even just the currents. These factors can hugely influence the spawning success. Research indicates a season with warmer waters may increase the survival of these eggs and juvenile snapper by 10-20 times. […]

New portfolio goes a long way towards fixing fisheries management

October 25, 2017 LegaSea welcomes the creation of a new separate portfolio for Fisheries and wishes the new Minister of Fisheries, Stuart Nash, good luck as he tackles what has become a highly contentious portfolio. Fisheries has been lumped in with forestry and farming under the Ministry for Primary Industries banner since 2012 but it has never sat […]

Crayfish campaign a success

October 4, 2017 Between July and September LegaSea ran a campaign – the ‘Crayfish Crisis’. It highlighted the collapse of the Crayfish 2 (CRA 2) stock and the need for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Quota Management System. This campaign was developed following the March 2017 survey of more than 800 CRA 2 fishers and divers. […]

Charm offensive not working

October 4, 2017 It’s been difficult finding anyone who believes the propaganda appearing on our screens that extols the virtues of the Quota Management System. Fishing corporates have spent millions in an effort to convince us that they are looking after our marine resources for our kids and grandkids and all is well. Nothing could be further from […]

Political parties united in call for inquiry into fisheries debacle

September 11, 2017 Labour and the Green Party have both come out in support of an inquiry into the management of New Zealand’s fisheries, leaving National as the only party which has declared itself unwilling to look into the issue in the lead up to the election. ACT, TOP and Mana have not responded to requests for a […]

Marine park concept fading to grey

September 6, 2017 Weeks before the last election the National Party announced the creation of two marine parks, one in the upper South Island and another in the inner Hauraki Gulf. The announcement was enough to sway swinging voters to vote National on the promise of improved recreational fishing in these areas. As another election looms the parks […]

Calls for Commission of Inquiry into fisheries mismanagement grow

September 4, 2017 Four political parties have joined LegaSea and the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council’s call for an inquiry into the state of New Zealand’s fisheries management practices. New Zealand First, the Māori Party, United Future and the New Zealand Outdoors Party have all agreed New Zealand’s fisheries management needs an overhaul and cannot continue the way […]

Crayfish hanging on by a leg

August 26, 2017 There has been a mixed reaction since we launched the Crayfish Crisis campaign in July. Commercial fishers argue there are abundant crayfish between Pakiri and East Cape of the North Island, and we are creating an issue in CRA 2 where none exists. The Ministry for Primary Industries consider the CRA2 stock is well above […]

Kaitiakitanga means guardianship

August 21, 2017 Kaitiakitanga means guardianship or management and traditionally it’s applied to conservation efforts. It’s a matter dear to the hearts of the recreational fishing sector as well. We of all people get to see when there’s abundance and plenty for all, and when there’s a desert, a dearth of life in our oceans. No longer is […]

NZ Sport Fishing Council releases recreational fishing Manifesto

August 8, 2017 A new approach to managing New Zealand’s fisheries is needed The New Zealand Sport Fishing Council has released its Manifesto and calls on New Zealand’s political parties to consider a new approach to setting policy. The Council has consulted with its members over what they want to see in terms of stewardship of New Zealand’s […]

Licensing a smokescreen for real agenda

August 1, 2017 The New Zealand Initiative, a consultancy that is paid to produce reports of a right wing nature, has produced a report that says recreational fishers need to be licensed because of a massive problem in the fishing sector. There is a massive problem in the fishing sector – recreational fishers are not it. The report’s […]

Cameras not fit for purpose

July 25, 2017 Another chapter in the series of failures by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) was uncovered in an MPI report. This report suggested that the cameras being installed to monitor commercial fishing activity are not up to the task. The report stated that the cameras were unable to reliably distinguish species and sizes of fish, […]

Ombudsman reveals more deceit

July 20, 2017 A media storm erupted last year with the release of Glen Simmons’ Catch Reconstruction Report. This report outlined the unprecedented levels of unreported catch to the United Nations by New Zealand Officials and was accompanied by internal Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) reports that revealed knowledge of widespread commercial dumping. MPI’s Director of Fisheries, Dave Turner, […]

Fisheries reports locked away

July 14, 2017 It is a concern for all of us that the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has once again shown they are unwilling or unable to show the public how they are carrying out their statutory duties. This time, in the form of a blanket refusal to share more than 100 reports requested under the Official […]

NIWA net trials on the northeast coast

July 13, 2017 Starting on 15th July a NIWA trawler will be testing a new net designed to reduce both the catch of small fish and environmental impacts. The Kaharoa will be working inshore between Whangaroa, East Northland, and Tairua in the eastern Bay of Plenty. The Kaharoa is 28 metres long with a blue hull and white […]

The Crayfish Crisis

July 11, 2017 Despite overwhelming evidence that the CRA2 fishery off Auckland’s east coast and Bay of Plenty is in critical condition the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy says there’s no problem, and he has no intention of doing anything about the declining number of crayfish until at least April 2018. Recreational fishers wrote to the Minister in […]

Environmental warriors battling for our future

July 5, 2017 Pirates illegally fishing in Pacific waters have been busted and fined almost a million dollars after taking more than a hundred tonnes of southern bluefin tuna. Two Chinese-flagged vessels were involved in this case, which experts suspect is just a drop in the ocean compared to the illicit exploitation occurring on the high seas. Thankfully […]

Congratulations Team New Zealand and the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron

June 27, 2017 It’s with great delight that LegaSea congratulates its partner organisation, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, on the Team New Zealand win this morning in the America’s Cup. LegaSea and the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron are committed to New Zealand’s waterways, and to ensuring generations of New Zealanders as yet unborn can continue to […]

ECO debates Orange roughy certifications

June 8, 2017 The Environment and Conservation Organisations (ECO) have condemned the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) decision to award three New Zealand orange roughy fisheries a certification of meeting the international standard for sustainable fishing. LegaSea agrees with ECO’s views. Orange roughy was fished down to near extinction in the 1990’s. In 2006, it was listed as a […]

Ministry fails in its duty of care

June 7, 2017 News that the Ministry for Primary Industries has failed to ensure cameras being installed on fishing boats are fit for purpose is just the latest in a series of failures by the ministry in overseeing New Zealand’s fisheries. Newshub’s Michael Morrah has uncovered an MPI report that suggests the cameras being installed to monitor fishing […]

Continued closure of the Southern Scallop fishery

June 6, 2017 In May, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) released a consultation document proposing a continued closure of the southern scallop fishery at the top of the South Island, until 2018. This comes after surveys have shown that the current closure failed to restore the fishery to abundant levels. This important scallop fishery was closed in […]

FishCare survey results

June 1, 2017 LegaSea is developing a new programme called FishCare – The school of best practice. FishCare is an educational guide for recreational fishers offering simple tips on how to minimise the impacts of fishing on the marine environment. FishCare was publicly launched at the Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show from May 18th to 21st, 2017. The […]

The Hutchwilco NZ Boat Show

May 30, 2017 Always one of the highlights of our year, the Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show in Auckland never fails to impress, and 2017 was no exception. The LegaSea team love to be amongst the buzzing atmosphere the show creates, talking with the public and getting their views. The messages of support from people is inspiring and […]

Utilisation is key to the Kai Ika project

May 24, 2017 Until recently members of the Outboard Boating Club (OBC) discarded their fish heads and frames, while others in the community prize these parts of the fish for their sweet flesh. Hence the creation of the Kai Ika Project. The OBC now collects the unwanted fish heads and frames and Papatuanuku Marae collects them and shares […]

LegaSea launches FishCare at Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show

May 18, 2017 For over 60 years the Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show has been the biggest and most popular boat show in the country so it was the obvious place for LegaSea to launch its FishCare programme to the public. “FishCare – The school of best practice”. This is a bold and ambitious initiative being undertaken by […]

Survey shows all is not what it seems

May 17, 2017 In a recent survey, more than three quarters of the 822 respondents said they felt that the size and availability of crayfish rated poorly, just a one or two on a scale of 1-7. The survey, targeting people who collect crayfish between Pakiri and East Cape, produced results in stark contrast to the Ministry for Primary […]

Launch of FishCare

May 16, 2017 Recreational fishers have a pivotal role to play in the health of our fisheries. Not only do we need to speak with one voice in the policy management arena we also need to act responsibly when we operate in the marine environment. LegaSea has developed an educational programme; FishCare – the school of best practice […]

Collusion and cover-ups continue

May 11, 2017 Over time various government functions have been passed over to Crown institutes and established researchers. This hand-over is acceptable if stakeholders have had a say, and if the transfer is to accredited parties. However, the passover of more fisheries management functions and administrative powers to FishServe, a company owned and operated by the fishing industry […]

LegaSea renews calls for a full inquiry into MPI activity

April 14, 2017 When the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) failed to prosecute industrial fishing boat captains for dumping catch it blamed legal advice for the decision. Now we are told that legal advice never existed. Instead, MPI used misleading information and misdirected both the Minister and the public as to why blatant dumping of fish recorded on […]


April 12, 2017 What’s going on in our fisheries? In the past week there has been claims and counter-claims about the cosy relationships between fisheries officials and corporate commercial interests. For years these dealings have been shaded from public view. Thanks to your support LegaSea and others have put the spotlight on these arrangements and we are now […]

Proposed crayfish catch increases unacceptable

April 6, 2017 LegaSea has responded to the Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI) annual review of rock lobster sustainability measures. MPI’s January discussion paper proposed the following changes to the Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) – 9% decrease to the commercial catch level in CRA 3 (East Cape, Gisborne) 23% or 27% reduction to the commercial catch level […]

Feasibility of reporting recreational catch

April 5, 2017 At LegaSea we are regularly asked, “What is the story with everyone reporting their recreational catch?” and “do you support individual reporting?” Short answer, no. We prefer an independent assessment of all catch to avoid any bias that may arise from self-reporting. We currently have internationally acclaimed, robust and reliable recreational estimation method designed by […]

Kaikoura fishing closure

April 4, 2017 After the Kaikoura earthquake in November, the Minister for Primary Industries enacted his emergency powers under the Fisheries Act 1996 to close off fishing in the Kaikoura area. This was in light of shocking photos that emerged of large areas of seabed being forced from the water, with all the sea life still attached. There […]

Recreational catch reporting

April 3, 2017 Recreational catch reporting is often touted as the missing link in the fisheries management equation. Truth is New Zealand has a world-leading method of estimating recreational catch. It is highly independent to avoid the bias associated with self-reported catch that often plagues estimates of commercial catch, and licensing requirements. More information does not always equal […]

Survey of recreational rock lobster fishers in CRA2

March 31, 2017 New Zealand Sport Fishing Council March 2017 Between January and March 2017 a survey was conducted to measure people’s perceptions of the state of the rock lobster (crayfish) fishery on the northeast coast of the North Island, known in management terms as CRA 2. Over 800 responses were received, with many respondents having dived or […]

Chester’s Fanatical Fishos do it again

March 31, 2017 A big shout out to Chester’s Plumbing and Bathroom Supplies, New Lynn, for their ongoing support of LegaSea. Chester’s donated $5000 to LegaSea during their annual Fanatical Fishos competition at the end of February. Chester’s has donated several thousand dollars annually for the past 21 years and this makes them one of the longest serving […]

Crayfish survey defies Ministry spin

March 20, 2017 A landmark survey of people who pot and dive for crayfish on the northeast coast between Pakiri and East Cape defies Ministry for Primary Industries’ assurances that the fishery is doing well. More than three quarters (78.6%) of the 822 survey respondents described the size and availability of crayfish in this popular fishery as 1 […]

A chance to remove trawling from the Hauraki Gulf

March 3, 2017 A new initiative to restore abundance and diversity in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park was presented in early December. The Sea Change Tai Timu Tai Pari, Marine Spatial Plan is the result of three years of collaboration by a wide range of stakeholders from within the Marine Park. This bold new plan proposes the complete […]

Mismanagement of crayfish continues

March 3, 2017 LegaSea has responded to the Ministry for Primary Industries’ annual review of rock lobster sustainability measures. The MPI discussion paper proposed the following changes to the Total Allowable Commercial Catch from April 1st this year: 9% decrease to the commercial catch level in CRA3 (East Cape, Gisborne) 23% or 27% reduction to the commercial catch […]

RMA appeal

February 28, 2017 In December 2016 the Environment Court made a landmark ruling over the right to make fisheries restrictions through the Resource Management Act (RMA). After the MV Rena ran aground on Astrolade Reef in 2011, spilling oil, the Bay of Plenty community, hapu and iwi raised their concerns about the risks to the local environment. They […]

Subscriber booklet

February 28, 2017 At LegaSea we often hear, “You guys are doing an amazing job, what can I do to help?” Until now, we haven’t had a decent answer. Now we have. We would like to take this opportunity to explain how you can make a real difference to our future fishing prospects: You can become a LegaSea […]


February 28, 2017 As recreational fishers become more environmentally aware there is a growing willingness and desire to fish more sustainably. The ability to go out and catch a reasonable feed and enjoy some time on the water with friends and family is precious to many of us, no one wants to lose this. Due to this we […]

MPI cut fisheries observers

February 22, 2017 As part of the Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI) newly proposed initiative, Future of our Fisheries (FOOF), video surveillance is planned to be installed on all commercial fishing vessels. The east coast North Island snapper fishery (SNA 1) was chosen as a trial for these cameras. Somewhat prematurely, MPI has decided that this means it […]

Crayfish mismanagement needs to be urgently addressed

February 14, 2017 LegaSea and the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council have responded strongly to proposals from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) relating to the future management of three rock lobster fisheries around the coast from East Cape to Wellington and up to Foxton, and Otago in the south. Unfortunately, MPI wants to allow increased commercial fishing […]

Planning for an abundant Hauraki Gulf Marine Park

February 9, 2017 On 6th December, the SeaChange Tai Timu Tai Pari, Marine Spatial Plan for the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park was presented for public review. This three-year planning process is a collaboration by representatives of a wide range of stakeholders from within the Marine Park and its catchments. The principal organisations behind the planning process, Auckland Council […]

Back to the future in fisheries

February 9, 2017 As we fish through another summer of mixed success we’ve had lots of time to think about our fisheries and wonder how we’ve got it so wrong. Our fishing is not the same as what our forefathers had and it’s pretty scary to think what we have to pass onto our next generations. Thankfully the […]

What does “world-leading” mean?

January 18, 2017 “New Zealand has a world-leading quota management system”. A line the people of New Zealand hear all too often. Usually in response to a cry from the public about how something has gone amiss in our fisheries. But let’s stop and think about this. Firstly, for arguments sake, let’s say we are “world leading”. Why […]

Our perfect day

January 18, 2017 The sun hasn’t even peaked over the horizon, yet you find yourself rolling over to silence that obnoxious alarm. Exhausted from a restless night, plagued by anticipation of the day to come. Despite this you spring out of bed and slip into those old clothes tucked away in your bottom draw, that musty, fishy smell […]

Future of our Fisheries

December 23, 2016 On 11th November, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) announced their new programme, Future of Our Fisheries (FOOF). Consultation opened, requesting submissions and planning a number of meetings around the country. LegaSea believed this was the perfect opportunity to implement policy similar to that of “Moyle’s Promise”. Hon. Colin Moyle was Minister of Fisheries 1972-1977 […]

Our declining snapper fishery – what’s going on?

December 21, 2016 Snapper is the North Island’s favourite inshore species and are hotly pursued by both recreational and commercial fishers. The Bay of Plenty has sometimes been labelled ‘the Bay of Empty’ when fishing efforts have been consistently poor. The question many people ask themselves – is it over fishing and a result of poor fishery management […]

Taranaki seabed mining

December 21, 2016 On the 23rd August, Trans-Tasman Resources Ltd (TTR) applied to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to obtain a permit to mine the seabed on the South Taranaki Bight. This application would give TTR permission to excavate 50 million tonnes of sediment from the seabed per year, for the next 35 years with 90% of it […]

How healthy is Gisborne’s crayfish fishery?

December 6, 2016 In late September the Ministry for Primary Industries asked for public feedback on the health of the crayfish stock in the Gisborne area, officially referred to as CRA 3. There are mixed views on the stock status. Commercial interests, the Ministry, and scientists all advocate the fishery is in fine fettle. Meanwhile, for people around […]

Public says Ministry need to up their game

December 6, 2016 A recent survey shows that 83% of New Zealanders feel that the current approach to fisheries management is average to very poor when it comes to limiting catch and rebuilding our fish stocks to a suitable level. LegaSea is surprised by the depth of dissatisfaction amongst the general public to the way our fisheries are […]

Fryday FryUp – 25 November

November 25, 2016 Achilles disaster, preference for public fishing, your support for LegaSea Achilles keeps on turning out to be a disaster Good news! We put cameras on boats to see what industrial fishers get up to. Bad news! We found them doing bad things. Good news! There’s proof positive in the footage so we can prosecute. Bad […]

Giving preference to our fishing

November 25, 2016 Ever since the news broke that officials had failed to prosecute fishers caught dumping up to 100% of their trawl catch LegaSea has been calling for an independent Commission of Inquiry into the Quota Management System (QMS) and overall fisheries management. We need to get to find out why after 30 years of a neo-liberal […]

Fryday FryUp – 18 November

November 18, 2016 Kaikoura, seabed mining, Christmas is coming. Kaikoura The earthquake has really messed things up for central New Zealand and in particular for boaties and fisher folk heading out to sea. While the tsunami risk has gone for now, it’s never a bad time to make sure your planning is up to scratch. Let someone know […]

New Zealand public has lost faith in the fisheries management regime

November 18, 2016 New Zealanders are growing more concerned about the way our fisheries are being managed. Far from having a “world-leading” fisheries management system, nearly 70% of those surveyed in a new nationwide study believe an independent inquiry into the Quota Management System (QMS) is warranted. Only 5% felt it was not. Just over 2000 respondents from […]

Seabed mining – here we go again

November 18, 2016 In September Trans-Tasman Resources submitted their second application to excavate 50 million tonnes of sediment each year from the South Taranaki Bight seabed. Two years ago the first application was denied due to insufficient information about the potential environmental impacts of the mining operation. We were pleased with that outcome, but TTR are back. Their […]

Fryday FryUp – 11 November

November 11, 2016 Win for KASM, show us your snapper, the biggest show in town. Win for KASM Well done to the Kiwis Against Seabed Mining who have secured a court victory in their quest to halt seabed mining. KASM had asked for information from Trans-Tasman Resources (TTR), the company that has re-applied for a licence to mine […]

Win for Kiwis Against Seabed Mining

November 10, 2016 LegaSea and South Taranaki locals are pleased the Environment Court has upheld a challenge by Kiwis Against Seabed Mining (KASM), local Maori and fishing interests, against a foreign owned seabed mining company Trans-Tasman Resources (TTR). On Monday 7th November, the Environmental Court heard the case brought by KASM, asking the court to order TTR to […]

Plain truth would defeat a tangled web

November 9, 2016 “Oh! What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive”, Sir Walter Scott, 1808. This quote refers to how complex life can get if you don’t tell the truth. It is derived from a play about a love triangle and yet it is so applicable to what is happening in fisheries circles […]

Response to Taranaki seabed mining proposal

November 9, 2016 In September Trans-Tasman Resources Ltd submitted a new application to mine iron sand from the seabed off the South Taranaki Bight. Their first application was rejected two years ago. Now they are confident they have addressed the environmental issued raised in 2014. Our submission team at the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council swung into action […]

Overwhelming public support for trawler ban

November 4, 2016 A complete moratorium on commercial trawling within the inshore waters of Hawke Bay and surrounding waters is the only way the depleted fish stocks can rebuild was the very clear and primary message the public gave to the officials of LegaSea Hawkes Bay at the Hawke’s Bay Royal A&P Show held at the Hastings Showground over Labour weekend. Spokesman for LegaSea […]

Fryday FryUp – 4 November

November 4, 2016 Survey results, stinging attack on MPI, the future of recreational fishing. Snapper 1 survey results Last month we asked you to take part in the Snapper 1 survey and thanks to all those who took the time to respond. More than 2500 of you took the 12-question survey. A summary has been fed back to […]

Snapper 1 survey report

November 3, 2016 November 2016 During October 2016 LegaSea ran an online survey to gauge recreational fishers’ reaction to the proposed Snapper 1 Management Plan, released for public comment on 2 September. The 12-question survey attracted 2596 responses in a week. LegaSea thanks all respondents for their prompt feedback. SNA1 Management Plan In 2013 there was unprecedented media […]

Fryday FryUp – 28 October

October 28, 2016 5pm deadline for LegaSea snapper survey, concerning news for our marine environment, more support for an Inquiry. The future of our snapper – LegaSea survey closes at 5pm today. Here’s something you can do to help better inform the Ministry for Primary Industries and the policy makers: take this survey on snapper and let them […]

Blatant dumping – no rebuild

October 25, 2016 If the quota system is working so well why is the illegal and unreported dumping of fish still so prevalent? Several Ministry for Primary Industries’ investigations have revealed widespread dumping. Operation Achilles revealed that up to 100% of some quota fish were being discarded during every haul aboard trawlers. MPI has acknowledged this activity is impacting […]

Commission of Inquiry into QMS

October 25, 2016 In May Dr Glenn Simmons released a shocking report highlighting New Zealand authorities had, for 60 years, knowlingly under reported total fish catch to the United Nations. The report also exposed the excessive and deliberate waste of our fish by commercial fishers. It was accompanied by leaked Ministry for Primary Industries’ reports revealing that MPI […]

Fryday FryUp – 21 October

October 21, 2016 Snapper 1 survey, getting ready for the long weekend, seabed mining, vote in our poll Snapper fishing – Your opinion matters In 2013 there was unprecedented media coverage of the recreational snapper fishery. This highlighted problems with the fisheries management system and the need for more inclusive decision making. A Snapper 1 management plan has been […]

Fryday FryUp – 14 October

October 14, 2016 Seabed mining, LegaSea needs your help, remember crayfish? The KASM Around 1.6 tonnes of seabed could be extracted every second under new proposals to mine the seabed off the Taranaki coast. That seabed, rich in nutrients, home to many of our favourite species, gets pulped and then 90% of it is squirted back into the […]

Fryday FryUp – 30 September

September 30, 2016 Independent inquiry, conspiracy of silence, LegaSea poll, a baby blue whale feeding and seabed mining. MPI – time to cut the chain? John Key and Minister Nathan Guy must be starting to wonder when is the best time to cut their losses and jettison fisheries matters into a new ministry, as far from the Primary […]

QC labels MPI inaction flawed

September 29, 2016 Startling evidence confirming gross under reporting of total catch from our fisheries came to light with the release of a report by Dr. Glenn Simmons earlier this year. The research, spanning 60 years of reporting to the United Nations, was accompanied by the leaking of two draft reports from the Ministry for Primary Industries. It […]

Prime territory but where are the crayfish?

September 29, 2016 Crayfish numbers are so low in the Hauraki Gulf and surrounding northeast coast that University of Auckland researchers are referring to them as “functionally extinct”. This means they are no longer fulfilling their role in the marine ecosystem. This is dire news for both the environment and the public. In 2014 the New Zealand Sport […]

Mixed bag of Ministerial decisions

September 28, 2016 Nathan Guy, the Minister for Primary Industries, has announced his decisions for the future management of five South Island fish stocks including bluenose, snapper, paua, John dory and jack mackerel. The decisions are a mixed bag, with cuts to commercial catch limits for bluenose, jack mackerel and paua, and increases for John dory and snapper. […]

Chance to rebuild Southern Scallops

September 28, 2016 Nathan Guy’s recent decision to close the Scallop 7 fishery around the top of the South Island is welcome news. The closure applies to all scallop fishing, commercial and non-commercial. New management measures will be discussed and hopefully agreed before the start of the next season, in July 2017. LegaSea is pleased with this outcome, […]

Mixed views on snapper plan

September 28, 2016 After two years and 26 joint meetings, the proposed management plan for Snapper 1 on the northeast coast has been released. Given the substantial investment of time and money from recreational fishers the plan is a disappointment, mainly because only issues that could be agreed by all parties were included in the document. We have […]

Fryday FryUp – 23 September

September 23, 2016 Welcome to the FryUp – a regular look back at the week of fishing in the news. MPI flounders and confounds The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has had a turgid seven days. It kicked off this time last week with the release of the Heron Report into the decision why no prosecutions would be […]

A Commission of Inquiry is the only answer

September 21, 2016 Leaked documents show the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has been aware of widespread fish dumping for years yet not acted to prosecute the offending commercial fishers. These papers highlight deeply rooted problems with the management of fisheries. Now recreational fishing and environmental interests are calling for a Commission of Inquiry into the Quota Management […]

MPI needs to be overhauled following damning report

September 16, 2016 The Heron Report into why the Ministry for Primary Industries did not prosecute fish dumping paints a picture of an incompetence. The Report, which follows revelations that the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has filmed fishing boats engaging in illegal activity over a period of several years, says the decision not to prosecute was “flawed” […]

Fryday FryUp – 16 September

September 16, 2016 Welcome to the FryUp – a regular look back at the week of fishing in the news.  It’s official. It’s all our fault. That’s right – never mind the trawlers, the overfishing and the dumping. Apparently the biggest risk to our fisheries future is recreational fishers and we need to regulate them at once. That’s […]

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 […]

Fryday FryUp – 2 September

September 2, 2016 Welcome to the FryUp – a regular look back at the week of fishing in the news.  Quality over quantity The Quota Management System (QMS) is either world class and the envy of other countries or it’s a con, perpetuated on a people who would have had the wool pulled over their eyes. According to […]

Barry Torkington: An unholy alliance

August 31, 2016 The opinion piece in Monday’s Dominion Post (We’re catching fish but not value: why the QMS needs reforming) is critical of New Zealand’s Quota Management System (QMS) and with good reason. The academics who authored the piece used the context of a lack of value creation and capture to frame their point. If the New […]

Trawling banned 600 years ago

August 26, 2016 Bottom trawling is an indiscriminate method of fishing which has been around for hundreds of years, more or less unchanged. For centuries people worldwide have scoured the sensitive ecosystems from the bottom of the seas. What were once beautiful environments, are now little more than barren wastelands. New Zealand is lucky in that our country […]

Fryday FryUp – 26 August

August 26, 2016 Welcome to the FryUp – a regular look back at the week of fishing in the news.  Slipping through the net? Radio New Zealand has asked the Ministry for Primary Industries about its prosecution rate in light of the damning report from Auckland University into fish dumping. Fewer than 1% of its prosecutions related to […]

More evidence that MPI doesn’t prosecute fish dumping

August 26, 2016 An Official Information Act request by Radio New Zealand has revealed that less than one percent of all fisheries prosecutions are related to fish dumping. That’s despite evidence showing five out of six industrial fishing boats were dumping fish during Operations Achilles and Hippocamp. Inspectors estimated that crews were dumping anywhere between 20% and 100% […]

Gutsy government could deliver abundance

August 25, 2016 In June the Ministry for Primary Industries announced exports would need to grow by an average of 9.5 percent per annum if it was to meet its goal of doubling exports by 2025. It is not clear what this means for us, but from a public perspective our inshore fish stocks are already fully exploited […]

A radical change

August 25, 2016 Many people have been asking why it is so hard to have commercial catch limits reduced. It’s a valid question that deserves a good answer. We need to know how and why the Quota Management System has failed to provide a flexible system despite millions of our taxpayers’ dollars being spent on science, monitoring and […]

Government growth targets can damage our fisheries

August 25, 2016 Misdirected growth targets can have unintended consequences. Our fisheries are still recovering from Government policies implemented 40 years ago. A comprehensive review of the Quota Management System will hopefully reveal areas that can be fixed so our fisheries can be restored to abundant levels. Having enough fish to sustain the environment and provide for people’s […]

Fryday Fryup – 19 August

August 19, 2016 Welcome to the FryUp – a regular look back at the week of fishing in the news. I’d like to be under the sea… If you, like me, have always wanted to see the Great Barrier Reef in all its technicolor glory, you’d best get in sooner rather than later. This year the Reef suffered […]

Friday Fryup – 12 August

August 12, 2016 Welcome to the FryUp – a regular look back at the week of fishing in the news. Scallops It takes something dramatic to happen to get the Ministry for Primary Industries to agree with LegaSea but sadly that’s the point we’ve reached with the Scallop 7 (Marlborough-Tasman area) fishery. Minister Nathan Guy has closed the […]

Marlborough-Tasman scallop closures

August 12, 2016 Scallop numbers have declined so much around the top of the South Island that the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy, has agreed with LegaSea and closed the Scallop 7 fishery until a rebuild occurs. The fishery has been closed for the 2016/17 and new management measures will be worked out between now and July […]

Fryday Fryup – 5 August

August 5, 2016 Welcome to the FryUp – a regular look back at the week of fishing in the news.  The future of fishing We’re all concerned with just how many fish are taken from the oceans each year and what that means for the future of fishing. Will we see an abundant future where our children and […]

Fryday Fryup – 29 July

July 29, 2016 Welcome to the FryUp – a regular look back at the week of fishing in the news.  Submit It’s been a busy-old time of it at LegaSea and the NZ Sport Fishing Council because it’s open season on submissions – or something like that. This month we’ve put together submissions supporting the temporary closure of Maunganui […]

Hawke’s Bay cannot be ignored

July 28, 2016 If ever there was a need to ban inshore trawling to better allow for recreational fishing, then Hawke’s Bay is a prime example. A 10-year boat ramp survey shows dramatic declines in landings. There is unconstrained trawling inshore. All parties agree recreational fishing in the Bay needs to improve. Yet after almost two years of […]

LegaSea Hawkes Bay – a positive move

July 26, 2016 In 2014 the people of Hawkes Bay said “enough”, then they took the bold step of committing their time, energy and resources to rebuilding the depleted Bay’s fish stocks. To achieve that outcome they formed LegaSea Hawkes Bay to raise funds, political and public awareness. Two years on they are focused on engaging with their […]

Unbelievable snapper catch

July 26, 2016 How many millions of snapper are being wasted every year due to commercial fishing? That’s a simple question. After the 2013 controversy Minister Nathan Guy and commercial interests agreed to a raft of measures to estimate the weight of undersized snapper returned to the sea in the northeastern fishery, Snapper 1. After numerous requests, some […]

Collapsed fisheries need careful management

July 25, 2016 The scallop fishery at the top of the South Island is at its lowest recorded level, it continues to decline, and there are doubts about the future growth of young scallops. Nathan Guy’s recent decision to close part of Southern scallops to all fishing for the upcoming season may enable some regrowth, but is only […]

Fryday Fryup – 22 July

July 22, 2016 Welcome to the FryUp – a regular look back at the week of fishing in the news.  Marlborough Council calls to ban trawling and dredging Interesting news from the Marlborough District where bottom trawling and dredging is to be banned in certain sensitive areas of the Sounds under the Resource Management Act. The Council wants […]

The future of fishing?

July 21, 2016 The commercial fishing industry has recently taken a battering by an in-depth study of under reporting and wasteful dumping of fish in New Zealand waters over the last 60 years. For Karl Warr, a commercial fisherman in Hawke’s Bay, this wasn’t a surprise – he has seen the issue throughout his 15-year commercial career. But […]

Fryday Fryup – 15 July

July 15, 2016 Welcome to the FryUp – a regular look back at the week of fishing in the news.  A bold move to protect sharks Campaigning to protect shark stocks along the Great Barrier Reef has been stepped up a notch with WWF buying a commercial shark fishing licence. The conservation group says they will be retiring […]

Fryday Fryup – 8 July

July 8, 2016 Welcome to the FryUp – a regular look back at the week of fishing in the news. Abundantly clear We’re all about the fish here at the Fryday FryUp. They’re just so tasty! But as you know we have concerns about making sure we can all go fishing and that includes our children and grand-children. […]

Bay of Plenty where gurnard are scarce

July 7, 2016 Gurnard are a special treat so it is concerning that increasing numbers of people are highlighting the scarcity of this prized fish on the eastern seaboard. For years they have been a rare catch in the Hauraki Gulf. Now it seems Bay of Plenty fishers are starting to feel the bite. Decades of inshore trawling […]

Fryday Fryup – 1 July

July 1, 2016 Welcome to the FryUp – a regular look back at the week of fishing in the news. Fishing for answers The University of Auckland’s catch reconstruction report continues to upset officials across the country and you’ve got to wonder why. Have a look at the fishing section on the MPI website and you’ll find an […]

Compensation threats holding back restoration

June 25, 2016 Threats of compensation claims over the years have heavily influenced Ministerial decisions, even when the need for a catch reduction was obvious. Now we have a litany of fish stocks with uncatchable Total Allowable Commercial Catches (TACCs) and no prospects of precautionary management in sight. It is time we clarified the nature of quota so […]

Fryday Fryup – 24 June

June 24, 2016 Welcome to the FryUp – a regular look back at the week of fishing in the news. Call to ban all fishing in Hawke’s Bay Grim news from the Hawke’s Bay where concerned fishers are pushing to have all industrial fishing pushed out beyond the 50m depth contour. Last week we reported on local MP […]

Sunlight: the best disinfectant for exposing flaws

June 23, 2016 There is an ongoing furore over the revelations in two official reports that Ministry for Primary Industries officials knew commercial trawl fishers were illegally dumping, discarding and high grading fish but did nothing to stop the crimes or perpetrators. Our New Zealand Sport Fishing Council fisheries team has submitted several Official Information Act requests to […]

Not all fishermen are liars

June 23, 2016 Paul Henry might have been exaggerating when he said recently that all fishermen are liars, but for New Zealand authorities to be caught red-handed under reporting total catch by half to the United Nations for the past 60 years, that’s in another league. The strident denials then ‘shoot the messenger’ reactions from the Minister for […]

Fryday Fryup – 17 June

June 17, 2016 Welcome to the FryUp – a regular look back at the week of fishing in the news. Double the primary exports It’s Fieldays time again and so the Ministry for Primary Industries is talking up the future of all things edible. The goal – to double primary exports to $64 billion a year by 2025. Currently, […]

Barry Torkington: It’s time we knew the truth about our quota system

June 15, 2016 What a shambles our fisheries management is in, claim and denial met by counter claim and more strident denial. The public relations outfits must be licking their lips and counting the dollars. The average New Zealander just wants to know the truth, so here is the start. Of course fishermen dump fish over the side. […]

New Zealand’s international reputation at stake

June 15, 2016 For 30 years New Zealanders have been sold the line that our Quota Management System is a world leader when it comes to both protecting fish stocks and encouraging a culture of stewardship. Kiwis and the world have been sold a pup.

Sequence of failures gives reason for change

June 3, 2016 Revelations there have been no prosecutions after investigations into blatant fish dumping, catch misreporting, and high grading aboard coastal and deep sea trawlers are alarming. Even more disturbing is the refusal of officials to acknowledge and address the underlying problems embedded in the Quota Management System (QMS). Realistically, the Ministry for Primary Industries is never […]

Richard Baker: Who’s running our fisheries?

May 24, 2016 The Prime Minister once famously said that New Zealanders care more about snapper than the GCSB spying on Kiwis – and he may be right. The freedom to go out fishing, to bring home your catch and share the experience with family, friends and whanau is an essential part of New Zealand’s way of life. […]

Bouquets and brickbats for decisions

April 25, 2016 A central theme to the four recent management submissions to the Ministry for Primary Industries is the need for more precautionary management of our fish stocks. The Minister’s decisions, announced on March 17th, are a mixed bag, with cuts to commercial catch limits for selected scallop and crayfish stocks, and significant increases in surf clam […]

A community approach to marine protection

April 25, 2016 From a fisheries perspective it is very frustrating to watch the marine protection cum reserves debate occur without any intention to address the root causes of depletion – excessive fish catches, mobile bottom contact harvesting methods degrading habitats, and contaminants entering waterways choking nursery areas. LegaSea supported the recent submission by the New Zealand Sport […]

Now we know what fishing is worth

April 25, 2016 After two years of planning and research we now know what recreational fishing is worth to the New Zealand economy. Kiwis spend a billion dollars a year on recreational fishing but the benefits don’t stop at the fish on the end of the line. This expenditure ripples through the economy generating 1.7 billion dollars in […]

Curious proposals to protect marine areas

March 20, 2016 Recent government proposals to create recreational fishing parks in the Hauraki Gulf and Marlborough Sounds as a solution to enhancing recreational fishing are curious given that none of the measures will restore fish abundance or catchability. These recreational fishing parks have drawn attention away from the three other types of Marine Protected Areas proposed for […]

Are recreational fishing parks affordable?

February 12, 2016 A recreational fishing park has been proposed for both the Hauraki Gulf and Marlborough Sounds. It is important to examine this proposition to test if it is affordable and if it sets a precedent for the future. The Government has signaled it has around $20 million to pay compensation claims from displaced commercial fishing interests. […]

Are recreational fishing parks the answer?

February 11, 2016 A document discussing four types of Marine Protected Areas, including recreational fishing parks, has been released for consultation. This consultation process is a joint effort between the Ministers for Primary Industries, Conservation and Environment. Deadline for submission is March 11th, 2016. The New Zealand Sport Fishing Council team is working through the discussion document and […]

What is the value of recreational fishing?

September 24, 2015 In Australia, a recent study found recreational fishers contribute an estimated $2.56 billion to the nation’s economy. But what’s fishing worth in New Zealand? The truth is, no one knows. So the New Zealand Marine Research Foundation has commissioned a full-scale research project to find out. They want to know how much recreational fishers contribute […]

Doing our homework

September 1, 2015 Before we embark on a high value project to determine the significance of recreational fishing in New Zealand it’s important to do our homework. Similar overseas research by Southwick Associates has produced some positive outcomes for recreational fishing interests and their national economies. Southwick Associates has over 25 years international experience in examining the value […]

All hands to the pump

August 29, 2015 The “What’s Fishing Worth?” fundraising campaign is looking to produce more abundant fisheries, a thriving marine environment, and a robust recreational fishing industry. The campaign is raising funds for the New Zealand Marine Research Foundation’s recreational fishing research project. This project seeks to quantify the economic contributions per kilo of fish harvested by recreational fishers. […]

What’s fishing worth?

August 29, 2015 In Australia, a recent study found recreational fishers contribute an estimated $2.56 billion to the nation’s economy. But what’s fishing worth in New Zealand? The truth is, no one knows. So the New Zealand Marine Research Foundation has commissioned a full-scale research project to find out. They want to know how much recreational fishers contribute […]

Recreational perspective on shared fisheries and developing trust

August 19, 2015 Recreational perspective on shared fisheries and developing trust Address to the Seafood New Zealand Conference. Grant Dixon, Editor. New Zealand Fishing News magazine. Thank you for the opportunity to give my perspective on the fishery and building trust between industry and the public/recreational fishers. When Tim Pankhurst contacted me and explained the brief, I was a […]

Opportunity for Minister to win public support

July 29, 2015 Blue cod is an iconic Marlborough Sounds fishery so any mention of management changes evokes a raft of claims and counter-claims. LegaSea is pleased to have recently worked on a submission with four other national or local groups to promote an abundant fishery and improvements to regulations applying to both commercial and recreational blue cod […]

Is this a new era?

July 28, 2015 A draft management plan for the northeastern snapper stock is underway and expected to be with the Minister, Nathan Guy, later this year. 18 months of hard work has brought us to this point. It is unclear when the Minister will release the management plan for public discussion. However, recreational interests are keen to get […]

Encouraging prospects for gamefishing

July 26, 2015 New Zealand is fast becoming world renowned for trophy sized kingfish and lots of them. This is no accident. Management changes a decade ago, Mother Nature and the care shown by recreational fishers who release much of their kingfish catch have all contributed to the stock rebuild. Annual monitoring of kingfish length during the Bay […]

Important research into recreational fishing

June 29, 2015 Recreational fishing is more popular now than in 2007 and interest is growing. Results from the 2013/14 Active New Zealand survey ranks fishing as the second most popular recreation for men and ninth for women. Despite its popularity, no one knows how much our recreational fishing contributes to the national economy but that is about […]

South Island Blue cod reviews

June 29, 2015 There has been a Ministry for Primary Industries review of two Blue cod populations in the South Island recently, one in Fiordland and the other in the Marlborough Sounds. Deadline for submissions on the proposal to reopen Doubtful Sound, Fiordland, to recreational Blue cod fishing has now passed. There was also a simultaneous process to […]

Recreational fishing parks a distraction

June 28, 2015 Prior to last year’s election, National surprised us when they announced a policy to introduce two recreational fishing parks, one in the inner Hauraki Gulf and the other in the Marlborough Sounds. The promise was to exclude most commercial fishing and enhance fishing opportunities for Kiwi families. There was a mixed response. The lack of […]

Restoring abundance by reducing waste

June 27, 2015 Snapper is the species most often targeted by recreational anglers in New Zealand. In 2012 nationwide amateur harvest of snapper was estimated to be 4811 tonnes. This is more than the combined harvest of nine other popular species. Clearly, snapper is a resilient species, but stock levels are below where they should be and fishing […]

No sign of marine parks

June 26, 2015 Prior to last year’s election National surprised us when they announced a policy to introduce two recreational fishing parks, one in the inner Hauraki Gulf and the other in the Marlborough Sounds. The promise was to exclude most commercial fishing and enhance fishing opportunities for Kiwi families. There was a mixed response. The lack of […]

Opportunity lost in crayfish review

June 26, 2015 There are two outcomes from the recent crayfish management review process; both are bad news for non-commercial interests. Firstly, the Minister followed industry advice to maintain or increase commercial catch limits, and secondly, that under the current regime we are unlikely to see a rebuild of crayfish numbers along our coastline any time soon. Amongst […]

Ongoing celebrations for Supreme Court ruling

May 28, 2015 Recreational fishers are celebrating the sixth anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling that changed the fisheries management landscape in New Zealand. In a landmark decision in 2009, the Supreme Court confirmed the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy, can apply discretion and government policy when allocating the available fisheries resource between sectors. Fresh management decisions […]

Legends at the Auckland Boat Show

May 25, 2015 One of the most encouraging aspects of the recent Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show was the willingness of people to talk with our team and share their fishing experiences with us. If you were one of those people that visited our stand between the 14th and 17th May thanks for the stories, your support and […]

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 […]

Increasing effort despite collapsing fishery

April 26, 2015 Given the state of tuna stocks, it is incredible that regional authorities have allowed more than 6,000 industrial fishing vessels to target tuna in the western and central Pacific Ocean. Fishing boats have flooded into this area over the last 20 years as stocks have declined in other oceans. At the same time, New Zealand’s […]

Crayfish leftovers not good enough

March 28, 2015 There are ongoing issues related to the management of our crayfish stocks that need to be addressed this year. Crayfish are a prized shellfish, a taonga, and we need to be sure that the public’s long-term interests are protected and we have reasonable access to our crayfish. In our recent submission responding to the latest […]

Stop wasting our fish!

March 12, 2015 Fish dumping and unnecessary wastage in our fisheries has to stop, and many of you have the handiest tool to address it – your cellphone camera. Several trawlermen have revealed that dumping happens on every trawl. One skipper estimates 10-15 bins of undersized fish were thrown back dead after every trawl. The crew is required […]

Surprising results from recreational catch survey

March 12, 2015 Over 4.5 million snapper, 1.1 million kahawai, and 680,000 blue cod were caught and kept by recreational fishers during 2011-12. These are the three most popular marine species, by number, in New Zealand. Around 5.4 % of all finfish was taken from charter vessels. These estimates and harvest figures for other popular species have been detailed […]

Are yellowfin on the comeback?

March 5, 2015 It seems that yellowfin tuna are not gone forever from New Zealand waters. Dare we hope that this season is just the start of their return, or is this just a painful reminder of the superb fishery that has been lost? The Bay of Plenty was once our yellowfin ‘tuna capital’ over summer. For most […]

Crayfish becoming exclusive property

March 1, 2015 Crayfish might not be on everyone’s catch list but they are a treasured meal when shared with family and friends. Not surprisingly they are also a valuable commercial species so when it comes to management there is always high interest in any catch increases. Management of five crayfish stocks is under review. These stocks extend […]

Fishing amongst seabirds

February 21, 2015 More species of seabirds breed in New Zealand than anywhere else in the world. Seabirds are good indicators of what is below the water’s surface, this makes them an angler’s best friend. But when seabirds get close to the boat they can easily tangle in our fishing lines or get caught on baited hooks. This can […]

Surprises in new recreational harvest survey

February 17, 2015 Over 4.5 million snapper, 1.1 million kahawai and 680,000 blue cod were caught and kept by recreational fishers during 2011-12. These are the three most popular marine species, by number, in New Zealand. Around 5.4 percent of all finfish was taken from charter vessels. These estimates and harvest figures for other popular species have been […]

Fishing smarter to avoid waste

February 15, 2015 Since last year’s rule changes, there has been an increase in the numbers of gut hooked snapper being released. These fish will most likely die. This outcome goes against all notions of conservation and makes us feel bad when we watch these wasted fish floating away or being eaten by birds. However, this is a […]

Recreational fishing is not a waste

February 10, 2015 Summer is a hectic time of year for the LegaSea team as there are so many fund raising events, fishing contests and community gatherings to attend. It is such a buzz to see people enjoying the fishing, the camaraderie with their mates, and spending quality time amongst family. And this is just a snapshot of […]

Crayfish management under the spotlight

January 30, 2015 Crayfish are a prized catch and important ecologically so it is critical we protect the fishery from over-exploitation. The Ministry for Primary Industries has just issued proposals for the future management of several fisheries, including the northern crayfish stock called CRA1. LegaSea again objects short consultation timeframes, this time we only have 18 working days […]

Valuing recreational fishing

January 29, 2015 One of LegaSea’s 5 Principles is to value recreational fishing. Our fishing supports a vast array of businesses, from charter boat operations, boat builders, tackle dealers, bait and ice suppliers and the assortment of fishing media. Many coastal communities rely on the summer influx of tourists, including fishing families, to maintain their accommodation, fuel and […]

Gut hooked fish are a dying waste

January 16, 2015 There has been widespread discussion about the number of small snapper being caught in close off the northeast coast and whether the new 30cm minimum size limit is good for the fishery. There is some suggestion the size needs to return to 27cm, or have no minimum and land everything. There are downsides to that […]

5 Principles to rebuild our fisheries

January 10, 2015 After a hard-out year many of us look forward to time on the water catching a fish, sharing that catch with family and friends, and importantly, enjoying the experience with our kids. To achieve success we need fish in the water. LegaSea has developed 5 Principles to help rebuild our depleted fisheries. If you want […]

Frequently asked questions about fisheries

December 29, 2014 As the spotlight turns on fisheries and marine protection issues people are questioning current management practices and seeking solutions. LegaSea has summarised a few snapper FAQs. Are trawlers allowed in the Hauraki Gulf? Trawling and Danish seining are banned from the inner Hauraki Gulf, from around the bottom end of Kawau Island across to the […]

A boost to rebuild important fisheries and habitats

December 5, 2014 Strategies to rebuild marine ecosystems and local fisheries around the northeast coast, Gisborne and Hawkes Bay were confirmed during a recent meeting held at the Gisborne Tatapouri Sports Fishing Club. Delegates to this year’s New Zealand Sport Fishing Council Annual General Meeting endorsed three policies. Each policy outlines a range of measures designed to rebuild […]

Recreational fishing not part of quota system

November 10, 2014 A popular misconception is that all fishing is managed via quota and the Quota Management System. Truth is, quota is used to manage commercial fishing. Recreational fishing is managed outside the QMS, and daily bag and minimum size limits are used to control each individual’s catch. LegaSea is committed to ensuring public fishing remains free […]

Surprising outcome from Tip the Scales campaign

November 10, 2014 This year we set out to promote the need for good quality fisheries policy from all political parties. By election day more than 17,000 people had registered support for LegaSea’s Tip the Scales campaign. If you were one of those people, thank you. It was your support for the 5 principles that influenced the political […]

Differing perspectives on allowances

November 1, 2014 One of the major talking points during the snapper campaign in 2013 was the assertion that recreational catch had increased exponentially and that effort needed to be reined in through bag limit reductions. Fact is, management of Snapper 1 had not been reviewed for 16 years and the recreational allowance made in 1997 did not […]

Let’s Tip the Scales #2

September 9, 2014 Last year’s snapper debate proved that fisheries management is indeed political and that the outcome of decisions can be heavily influenced by how many of us stand up for ourselves. This year we have a prime opportunity to advocate for improved fisheries management. That chance is available at the ballot box on September 20th. Make your […]

Snapper 1 Strategy Group

August 30, 2014 Five meetings of the Snapper 1 Strategy Group have now been held. There has also been a number of meetings between the Ministry for Primary Industries and representatives of the various stakeholder groups. Our dedicated team has been flat out developing reference documents that present a best-case scenario for future management of our fisheries, not […]

Hokianga Accord

August 30, 2014 On 7 August the Hokianga Accord will be hosting its 16th hui, venue is the legendary Bay of Islands Swordfish Club in Paihia. All are welcome to attend. LegaSea is keen to participate in a wide-ranging discussion on the Fish Forever proposal for two marine and one “scientific” reserve in the Bay of Islands. A […]

Let’s get political

August 30, 2014 Fisheries management decisions are political so our dedicated team of experts has carefully crafted five policy recommendations that promote productive fisheries and a healthy marine environment. We have sent these recommendations to political parties so they can adopt them in their fisheries policies. Then we will give them points out of 20 for each of […]

Southern blue moki

August 30, 2014 Blue moki is a popular table fish taken by shorebased anglers, set netters and spear fishers around the South Island and lower North Island. An estimated 36,000 blue moki were taken in 1999 by recreational anglers fishing off the east coast of the South Island (Area 3). That’s around 53 tonnes. Fishers caught another 130 […]

Real snapper wastage being hidden

August 28, 2014 Addressing wastage was a big issue during our 2013 SOS Save Our Snapper campaign. LegaSea is concerned that proposed new measures have done little to reduce the unnecessary waste caused by trawling inshore. But who knows? The Ministry for Primary Industries is stonewalling requests for data from trials that measure how much fish is being […]

Big work up in Northland

August 25, 2014 LegaSea received a real boost last month from a group of Whangarei based companies. In mid July around 50 people representing 20 businesses with links to the construction industry gathered for a Building LegaSea presentation. Warren and the crew from Warren Hay Marine were superb hosts. They have to be rated as one of the […]

Reducing waste is a priority

August 25, 2014 LegaSea is advocating a bottom-up approach to rebuilding our fisheries. That is because mortality on small fish can be reduced at minimal cost and yet it has the greatest benefit to the rate of rebuild. Snapper caught in trawl and Danish seine nets need to have a strict maximum juvenile mortality rate applied to the […]

Snapper update

August 9, 2014 Since the beginning of the year there have been five meetings of the multi-stakeholder Snapper 1 Strategy Group. Our recreational representatives are ready to discuss the important issues of management targets to increase overall biomass in Area 1, but it is slow going. Increasing biomass means having a thriving population of more and bigger fish. […]

Let’s Tip The Scales

August 8, 2014 LegaSea has developed 5 principles to help Tip the Scales towards more abundant fisheries and fairer management decisions. Our team has sent these principles and specific policy recommendations to all of the political parties. We have asked them to adopt these principles and deliver more public friendly fisheries policy. But, they will only be swayed […]

Marlborough Sounds blue cod

July 30, 2014 Frustrated recreational representatives in the Marlborough Sounds are pleased Nathan Guy has acknowledged their management concerns, but are dismayed it has taken eight months to receive a response from the Minister for Primary Industries. After sending two letters and a delegation to Wellington the Marlborough Recreational Fishers Association’s (MRFA) concerns were seemingly ignored until May […]

Building LegaSea

July 30, 2014 “To rebuild our fishery we need qualified tradesmen” This sums up LegaSea’s new engagement campaign that is targeted at New Zealand’s construction industry. Statistics reveal that Kiwis involved in all aspects of construction whether in materials supply, plumbing, building, electrical, machinery and even design, love to fish. Fishing is as much the subject of conversation […]

Snapper 1 discussions

July 30, 2014 The multi-stakeholder Snapper 1 Strategy Group has had three meetings, with the fourth due in mid-June. Our recreational representatives are keen to get stuck into discussing the important issues of management targets to increase overall biomass in Area 1, but it is slow going. Increasing biomass means having a thriving population of more and bigger […]

Management not just about money

July 21, 2014 Recent Ministerial decisions for crayfish and southern scallops have proven how unbalanced our fisheries management regime has become, in favour of commercial interests. Setting unrealistic commercial catch limits just invites vigorous fishing effort for diminishing fish stocks. It also deprives us, as recreational fishers, the opportunity to enjoy a reasonable catch for a day’s effort. […]

Working together for marine ecosystems

July 1, 2014 It was good to see many of you at the Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show in Auckland. Sharing information and getting your feedback during the 4-day show made the team’s effort worthwhile. Your thoughts on our future plans are most welcome so please stay in touch. A big thanks to the Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat […]

Targeting bigger fish and more of them

June 20, 2014 LegaSea is promoting a rebuild of our inshore fisheries, to a minimum target level of 40% of their virgin biomass, or unfished stock size. That’s B40. B40 means more fish get to grow to a decent size. B40 also means our fisheries will be more robust and able to cope with any dramatic events, like […]

Shameful crayfish management

May 15, 2014 Time has once again been used as a weapon against us, this time to limit our response to outrageous proposals that will keep Bay of Plenty crayfish stocks at all-time low levels. By now the new regime will be in place and our northeastern cray fishery could be another casualty in the race to the […]

Snapper talks shaping up

April 4, 2014 Snapper lovers will be pleased to know the planned strategy group discussions are underway, with all sectors getting a say in how they want to have the northern fishery managed in the future. Our objectives have been shaped around the many thousands of submissions made during last year’s SOS – Save Our Snapper campaign. LegaSea […]

Unfair snapper rules take effect

March 28, 2014 Recreational fishing advocacy group LegaSea is calling on amateur fishers to comply with the new snapper bag and size limits that will come into effect on April Fool’s day, even though many believe they are unfair. From April 1st the individual snapper daily bag limit will be seven, down from nine each. The minimum legal […]

Minister keeps crayfish at all-time lows

March 20, 2014 For young and old crayfish are a taonga, a treasure, so recent Ministerial decisions to keep some stocks at all-time lows to meet export orders is abysmal. Nathan Guy announced his decisions for the future management of crayfish on March 20th and these will apply from April 1st. Crayfish can retail up to $150 per […]

Crayfish and snapper update

March 10, 2014 In last months column, we talked about changes to crayfish coming our way. In early December 2013 the Ministry for Primary Industries advised us of potential management changes in CRA 2 (Bay of Plenty and Hauraki Gulf) and CRA 9 (West Coast). Consultation documents were due out before Christmas. Quota increases were likely to be […]

Snapper debate just the beginning

March 3, 2014 This is the time of year that many fishers dream of, warm water, fish on the bite and competitions galore. Whatever your fishing fancy, there is an event that caters to your taste. A really pleasing aspect is the number of events that are donating the proceeds to LegaSea. Every cent counts and is spent […]

Crayfish – anyone smell a rat?

February 1, 2014 In December the Ministry released proposals for management of crayfish in area 2 that runs from Waipu in the north to Waihi, Bay of Plenty. It’s an important fishery yet is the worst performing of the crayfish fisheries. I’m sure many of you have experienced first hand the effects of struggling stocks. Apart from the […]

Reflection on 2013

January 20, 2014 I’d like to reflect on some of the major positives for fisheries to come out of 2013. Groups with a common cause worked hard to strive for a better future, with dedicated support from people like you. Let’s start with tuna. Greenpeace had been fighting corporates for two years to stop FAD fishing for yellow […]

Turning the tide

January 10, 2014 Hard work by passionate advocates turned the tide on four iconic fish species in 2013. If you supported any of these causes you should feel proud, thank you. Yellowfin tuna stocks globally have retracted due to international commercial fishing pressure and Greenpeace led the charge campaigning to stop the sale of yellowfin tuna caught using […]

What’s next for snapper?

December 12, 2013 After the snapper decision, we reviewed hundreds of pages of Ministry reports and documents and we’ve planned our next steps to continue to improve the future of Snapper 1. Increased release mortality is one issue that will need to be addressed sooner rather than later, because as of 1st of April 2014 recreational fishers will […]

Snapper round up

December 1, 2013 Warm weather means more fishing, but in the Bay of Plenty there’s still concerns to be addressed for snapper. Stocks are classified as “collapsed” and so LegaSea will be calling for specific action to be taken in the Bay. This is one of a few focus areas for LegaSea as a result of Nathan Guy’s […]

Here’s to the fishers

November 29, 2013 One thing that has struck me in recent months is how people from all walks of life enjoy fishing. New Zealand is a wonderful melting pot of different cultures and people with varying backgrounds – but there is something wonderfully unifying in the form of a fishing rod. During the recent Save Our Snapper campaign […]

No sign of greedy recreational fishers

November 10, 2013 Allegations of greed have been made against those fishers who wanted to retain the existing snapper bag and size limits of nine snapper at 27cm. This highlights a couple of points. The first is that some people still don’t fully understand the bigger picture of the proposed changes to Snapper 1 (and it is complex), the […]

People versus Profits

October 2, 2013 Are private profits and export dollars really more important than the people of New Zealand? Nathan Guys decision on the Snapper 1 fishery will tell us loud and clear where this governments allegiance lies – people or profits. Any day now (if not already) his decision will be announced. 48,000 submissions and 365,000 emails sent […]

Nathan Guy – will you Save our Snapper?

September 30, 2013 This month Nathan Guy, the Minister for Primary Industries is due to announce his decision that will determine the future of our snapper fishing through the Bay of Plenty, Coromandel, Hauraki Gulf and East Northland. Thank you to everyone who joined with LegaSea to make a stand and sent a submission to the Ministry to […]

Snapper decision falls short. LegaSea. 18 Sep 2013

September 18, 2013 Media release Recreational fishing advocacy group LegaSea, say recreational fishers are rightfully angry that their daily bag limits have been cut from nine to seven and the minimum legal size has been increased, from 27 to 30cm, when there is no change to commercial catch limits. Most of the snapper quota in Area 1 is […]

Time to fight for our snapper

August 29, 2013 It is shocking that the Ministry for Primary Industries has proposed to slash snapper bag limits while the commercial sector is largely unaffected! The time has come for action. We are rallying support to fight for the future of our snapper fishery, fight for our voice to be heard, and fight against commercial greed and […]

Snapper battle in full swing!

August 29, 2013 The time has come for action. Right now we are rallying support to fight for the future of our snapper fishery, fight for our voice to be heard, and fight against commercial greed and government mismanagement. It’s on! At the time of writing this we wait with baited breath for the Ministry for Primary Industries […]

Snapper bag limit cuts will make way for commercial fishing

July 28, 2013 Recreational fishers may be forced to take bag limit cuts of up to 40% to make way for commercial quota. That’s because there’s simply not enough snapper in the area from North Cape to Cape Runaway to sustain demand. Our information reveals that the snapper stock level in the Bay of Plenty is much worse […]

United we protected marlin from the quota system

July 28, 2013 It’s been a busy and exciting time for LegaSea. We’ve had great conversations and support from the many passionate fishers at the Hutchwilco Boat Show, during the successful Marlin campaign and people entering our “Money Can’t Buy” competition. The support has been fantastic. On our stand at the Hutchwilco Boat Show we talked to lots […]

Target species: Snapper. A must read Update!

June 28, 2013 Snapper is a renowned favourite. It’s this little beauty that lots of us Kiwi fishers target, catch, cook and eat. Our snapper fishery is near and dear so keeping it in good health is really important to LegaSea – for all of us. That’s why we’ll be paying special attention to snapper this year. It’s […]

Matt Watson calls for a Boycott of all Sealord Products

May 28, 2013 In case you missed it, there was an uproar in recent news over Sealords new TV advert hailing their yellowfin tuna in a can a “Smart Choice” premium product. And rightly so! Matt Watson calls Sealords latest TV advert “incredibly arrogant or ignorant… just ignorant of the state of the yellowfin tuna fishery”. Sadly yellowfin […]

Marlin not for sale

May 22, 2013 Regulations protecting striped marlin as a recreational-only fishery are under threat by commercial fishermen who want to keep and sell marlin. The Ministry for Primary Industries appears to be wavering in their support for the existing regulations. They will be advising the Minister, Nathan Guy, who will then decide whether to retain the status quo. […]

Photo of three dumped marlin sparks outrage

May 1, 2013 Recently you may have seen or heard about a photo of three dead marlin that were dumped by a commercial fishing boat off the Manukau Harbour. There was outrage and rigorous discussion on Facebook about it because it was such a sad sight. For most of us catching a marlin is a challenging feat, where skill, […]

Sealord thinks we’re dumb

April 4, 2013 It’s a pretty harsh statement, however Sealords latest TV ad is all about buying canned yellowfin tuna with the tag line “Smart Choice”. Now that’s dumb! Yellowfin tuna are almost extinct in New Zealand waters. Yes, that’s right… extinct! This statement may be fuel for debate -­‐ and hopefully it is. Scientists, governments, and companies […]

An innovative way to conserve fish

February 2, 2013 Free Fish Heads is a new innovation aimed at getting Kiwis to make the most of what they catch. Instead of whipping off the fish fillets and dumping the rest, people can now share the heads and frames with others who welcome the succulent bits of meat tucked in amongst the bones. LegaSea is supporting […]

LegaSea has broad appeal

October 24, 2012 LegaSea is a cause working for ‘more fish in the water for future generations’. To achieve that vision we need at least 20,000 people to get on board and make a contribution towards protecting our fishing interests, for now and the future. We have cracked the first ton. Now we are depending on broad-minded Kiwis […]

Charting our future

September 10, 2012 In Aotearoa we have four million residents, soon that will be six; more fish in the water will be needed to provide for future generations’ needs. Aside from northern kahawai, we have few examples of fisheries being managed with our kids’ interests in mind. Hence the need for LegaSea! As recreational fishers, we neither have […]

Future abundance is in your hands

September 1, 2012 LegaSea has been launched to achieve the vision of ‘more fish in the water for future generations’. It’s a bold plan that supports the people campaigning for less wasteful fishing practices, protection of sensitive marine habitats and to ensure fish conserved today are available for tomorrow’s generation of fishers. All it takes is a simple […]