Media releases

Public vote with their conscience – and their stomachs

September 27, 2023 Media release: Horizon polling results With an election looming, a new survey has found conservative ocean fishing policies will be a top priority for many people casting their votes in the October general election. The nationwide survey by Horizon Research, found 68% of Kiwis believe conservative ocean fishing policies should have top priority, or be […]

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 […]

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 […]

Community bewildered at kina dredging in the Tory Channel.

February 23, 2023 Kina, a shellfish known around the south as ‘spiky gold’, is still being dredged commercially in the Tory Channel. Recreational fishers and environmental interests are objecting to this archaic practice and are urging the Minister of Oceans and Fisheries to ban all dredging in the Tory Channel from April 2023.  “It’s as if no lessons […]

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 […]

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 […]

Kai Ika Project reaches 250,000 milestone

August 25, 2022 The Kai Ika Project, a kaupapa which shares previously unwanted fish heads and frames with appreciative Auckland communities, is marking a major milestone this week. Since starting in 2016, the Kai Ika Project has now recovered and donated more than 250,000 kgs of kai moana via Papatūānuku Kōkiri Marae and other distribution outlets. None of […]

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 […]

Marine groups welcome smaller bag limits for recreational fishers

April 20, 2022 Media release April 20, 2022 Recreational fishers and marine conservationists are embracing revised bag limit rules for recreational fishers as a logical step toward sustainable fish populations. Under the revised rules, all finfish, except baitfish, including those with species limits like snapper, are now included in the daily recreational bag limit. This is a step […]

Bottom trawler found guilty of fishing in closed area: groups call for govt to deny new fishing permits 

March 9, 2022 Environmentalists and recreational fishing groups today heralded the guilty verdict delivered to a Talley’s-owned bottom trawler, the Amaltal Apollo, and its skipper, for illegally bottom trawling on seamounts in international waters.   The groups repeated their call for the government to ban the destructive fishing practice on seamounts , and to refuse to issue high seas […]

Media release – Widespread support for Waiheke rāhui

December 2, 2021 Media release 1 December 2021 Widespread support for Waiheke rāhui The Minister’s approval for a two-year temporary closure to fishing around Waiheke Island has drawn praise from divergent groups. The declining numbers of scallops, mussels, crayfish and pāua has prompted Ngāti Pāoa to declare a rāhui banning all harvest of these species around Waiheke Island […]

Groups unite to call an end to all of bottom contact fishing in the Hauraki Gulf

November 19, 2021 Media release: 19 November 2021 Conservation groups and recreational fishers have banded together for the first time to call for an end to destructive mobile bottom contact fishing methods that destroy the seabed in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. The move follows the release today of an Horizon Research poll, commissioned by the Hauraki Gulf […]

Recreational fishers welcome Minister’s conservative fisheries decisions

October 1, 2021 New commercial catch limits applying from October 1 show a considered, conservative approach by Minister David Parker to protecting fish. LegaSea Lead, Sam Woolford said: “A record number, more than 10,000 people sent in submissions to Fisheries Minister David Parker for this year’s fishing sustainability review. We are encouraged that people are starting to understand […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

A lack of data is obscuring serious failings of fisheries management

November 1, 2020 Recreational marine fishing groups including LegaSea and the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council are calling on the newly elected government to address serious issues such as fish dumping, environmental damage from bottom trawling, and the need to restore fish stocks to healthy levels.

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 […]

NZ Underwater signs MoU with LegaSea

July 14, 2020 Public support is swelling for reforms to fisheries management. The New Zealand Underwater Association (NZUA) being the latest organisation to join the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council and LegaSea in their efforts to create abundance in our coastal fisheries. Together these groups are seeking an overhaul to the existing fisheries management policy which begins by scrapping the Quota Management […]

Launching Rescue Fish

May 28, 2020 Media release 28 May 2020 Plan released to restore fish stocks and revitalise New Zealand’s commercial fishing sector Sweeping changes proposed to fisheries policy to benefit future generations and pump much needed cash into the regions Restoring abundance to New Zealand’s coastal fisheries and stimulating regional economies are two objectives of the ‘Rescue Fish’ policy […]

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 […]

Most New Zealanders think it’s illegal

October 31, 2019 Bottom trawling is an indiscriminate fish harvesting process, capturing all in its path and scraping vital marine growth off the seabed. The damage is unseen as it’s underwater and out of sight. The environmental impacts from the agricultural sector is attracting increasing attention and public concern about the damage caused by some commercial fishing methods […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Campaign to save a Kiwi favourite

July 19, 2018 The east coast population of one of New Zealand’s favourite fish, tarakihi, has fallen by over 80% in the past 50 years and the stock is now overfished. LegaSea, the recreational fishing lobby group, is urging the Minister of Fisheries to drastically cut catches to rebuild the tarakihi population. Tarakihi is one of New Zealand’s […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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” […]

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% […]

LegaSea backs review of Fisheries Act but focus has to include recreational fishing

August 27, 2015 Recreational fishing advocacy group LegaSea is pleased to hear the Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy announce a major review of the Fisheries Act, but spokesman Scott Macindoe says the government needs to broaden its focus to take into account the value of recreational fishing. “We congratulate Minister Nathan Guy for having the courage and clarity […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]