Cut down on fish and chips to save fish and chips - LegaSea

Marine activists are calling on Kiwis to cut down on their weekly fish and chips order in the name of sustainability.

A survey by non-profit group LegaSea found 70 percent of people want the commercial fishing quota for tarakihi cut in half to help species rebuild.

Spokesman Scott Macindoe says we need to practise what we preach when it comes to the environment.

"New Zealand needs to take a good, hard look in the mirror as to how it wants to manage its fisheries. We're sick and tired of this nonsense of 'sustainable depletion'."

Macindoe says we can't have our fish and eat it too.

"Yeah, we can have tarakihi, but it's at the price of our self-respect. We're running very close to the knife-edge of collapsing these fisheries."

Stock levels are at about 16 percent where they should be, according to the Ministry for Primary Industries. Last year the Government cut catch limits for tarakihi by 20 percent, and again by another 10 percent last month.

Under the current Government plan, it will take 20 years for the species to rebuild, LegaSea says.

"That's far too long."

In August, a Christchurch fish and chip shop told Newshub it no longer sells tarakihi, despite its popularity.

"If a species like tarakihi is endangered and at crisis level, as MPI would put it, people like me... need to stand up and say enough is enough," Fush owner Anton Matthews said.

Hoki is also low in numbers, particularly on the West Coast.