Blue cod review expands its scope

20:55, Aug 27 2014

There are "a couple of things to get out of the way first" before rules for the blue cod fishery in the Marlborough Sounds could be changed, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy says.

Guy, in Blenheim yesterday with Prime Minister John Key to attend the New Zealand Winegrowers' Romeo Bragato conference, said he had no update on a proposed review of the Sounds' recreational blue cod fishery.

He had not heard from the blue cod management group, which is working on terms of reference for a review. "There are a couple of things to get out of the way first.

"One is an election, and the other is to see what happens after that with the Government."

The group was originally limited to considering the recreational blue cod fishery in the Marlborough Sounds region but Guy has approved a request to include the wider fishery.

That widened scope made it necessary to expand membership of the group to include all fishing sectors as well as the Ministry for Primary Industries as it had overall responsibility for management of the fishery.

It has been recruiting two new members of the group, one each from the commercial and customary sectors, and a new recreational fishing representative.

Fishermen are angry at stringent rules for the Marlborough Sounds fishery, including a requirement for the daily bag catch of two fish to be between 30 and 35 centimetres long. Blue cod cannot be filleted on the water unless they are to be eaten on board. They argue that requirement is not sustainable and means many fish are tossed back, only to die because of their handling.


The Marlborough Express