Annual West Coast snapper limit nearly triples

Annual West Coast snapper limit nearly triples

There's been a huge increase to the annual snapper quota for recreational fishers on the South Island's West Coast, going up by 277 percent.

From October 1, the annual overall limit for the recreational fishery, known as 'Snapper 7', will go from 90 tonnes to 250 tonnes.

For the commercial fishery, it increases from 200 tonnes to 250 tonnes as well.

The daily recreational bag limit of 10 fish per person stays the same, but it means more fish can be caught over the period of the year.

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy says the change is because the fishery is doing so well.

"This is in response to the latest scientific information showing a major and rapid increase in the numbers of snapper in recent years.

"While there is no immediate change to bag limits, it creates a 50/50 split between commercial and recreational which better reflects the value that recreational fishers place on this important shared fishery," says Mr Guy.  

While the snapper limits have gone up, the annual commercial limits for paua and bluenose have been reduced in a bid to help stock numbers recover.

The annual paua limit for the top of the South Island, known as 'Paua 7', will decrease from 220.24 tonnes to 133.62 tonnes.

The total bluenose commercial limit for the entire country will drop from 1195 tonnes to 990 tonnes.