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New snapper limits come into force

Tuesday 1 Apr 2014 5:20 a.m.



Hobby fishers in the upper North Island will have to settle for fewer snapper from today as new rules come into force.

Non-commercial fishers will be allowed to catch only seven snapper a day, down from nine, and the minimum fish size is up from 27cm to 30cm in an attempt to keep the snapper population sustainable.

Plans to make the changes drew howls of protest from recreational fishers, mostly because there were no changes to limits for commercial fishers.

The plans were eventually watered down, but opposition parties still say the final plans should have included reductions for commercial fishers.

The change affects snapper in only one region, which covers the east coast between North Cape and Cape Runway out to a distance of 200 nautical miles.. No changes are being made in other areas.

Tuesday also sees changes in the commercial catch limits for crayfish in some regions.

There will be decreases in the limit of more than 30 tonnes in Bay of Plenty and in the Wellington-Hawke's Bay area, and increases in limits in Gisborne, Otago and Westland-Taranaki.

An increase from 30,000 tonnes to 40,000 tonnes in the catch limit for the southern blue whiting fishery near Campbell Island also comes into effect on Tuesday, as does a decrease in the scallop commercial catch limit at the top of the South island from 646 tonnes to 400 tonnes.


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