Changes to the blue cod fishing rules in the top of the South Island, including a minimum legal size, will come into force in time for the recreational fishery opening this year.
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy announced the rule changes in Picton this afternoon and scrapped the controversial transit and slot rules for a minimum 33cm legal size across the region.
Currently, those fishing for blue cod measuring between 30 and 35cm could be kept and only fish caught in the Marlborough Sounds could be landed there.
The other rule changes are:
Mr Guy says the new rules were based on science, the views of submitters on the proposals and advice from the Blue Cod Management Group.
"The group received strong feedback from the public that the previous rules were confusing and complicated. The scientific information also showed they may not have been supporting a rebuild in blue cod numbers in some parts of the Marlborough Sounds," he says.
"It was clear something had to be done."
The rules were now "simple, fair and easy to comply with", but also balance sustainability and benefits to stakeholders.
The new rules will take effect from 20 December when the recreational fishery in the Marlborough Sounds opens.