Quake shellfish ban could affect hundreds of jobs - MPI

Hundreds of thousands of pāua are expected to have died following the quake (Newshub.)
Hundreds of thousands of pāua are expected to have died following the quake (Newshub.)

A ban on pāua and crayfish collection will affect hundreds of jobs, according to Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.

Restrictions on crayfish collection will last a month, while pāua collection will be banned for three months.

Mr Guy says while jobs will be affected, the situation could be worse if the ban is not put in place.

"There's no doubt that unfortunately local jobs will be affected by this temporary closure," he says.

"If I didn't, it's my belief I would be back in a few months' time saying that this fishery is going to have to close for longer.

"If the science comes back and is better than what our initial findings are, or anecdotally that the fisheries are in better health, then that will mean the fishery can open a lot sooner."

Following the Kaikōura earthquake, around 100 km of coastline was thrust above sea-level, damaging pāua and crayfish stock.

Mr Guy says the area's pāua stock is valued at around $2 million, while crayfish value is at $23 million.

The Government has announced a $2 million research fund to assess the extent of the damage and its effects.

Mr Guy says some of the employees affected will be covered by the Government's business support package announced last week.

Newshub.