Fishing survey to safeguard catch

EMMA DANGERFIELD
Last updated 12:05 30/01/2013
Survey
Emma Dangerfield
Measure of success: Alastair Judkins and Lydia Melville measure and record sea perch at the South Bay boat ramp as part of a year-long research project on recreational fishing catch around Kaikoura

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A Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) research project to determine the recreational fishing catch out of Kaikoura and Motunau is under way and being well received by the majority of fishers.

The project is being undertaken by Trophia, a research organisation which provides research and advice on the sustainable management of marine resources.

The focus of this project is to get a clearer picture of the recreational catch of blue cod, sea perch and crayfish by surveying boats which land fish at Kaikoura's five different recreational boat ramps and at Motunau.

In Kaikoura, the amount of survey time allocated at each boat ramp depends on how much each ramp is used by recreational fishers.

The data collected by the survey includes details of fishing effort, lines in the water and number of hooks as well as the catch of sea perch, blue cod and crayfish. In addition boat launches and retrievals are recorded.

Crayfish are weighed and fish lengths measured, so the size of fish being caught can be determined.

This is the third project undertaken by Trophia on recreational fishing in Kaikoura. Surveys were also done in 2003 and 2009.

However, this is the first time the project has run for a full year and it is also the first time details on crayfish have been included.

Fishers are asked a set of questions as they wash down their boat and equipment, and each survey can be completed in a couple of minutes.

Data from recreational charter boat fishing will also be analysed. Ministry regulations which came into force two years ago require all charter boats to complete a mandatory log for each trip, recording catches of blue cod and crayfish, as well as voluntary recording of sea perch.

A Trophia representative is scheduled to go out on 30 charter vessel trips between now and April. The data will be analysed and included in the research report.

Project manager Glenys Hanley said in general the survey was being well received and those surveyed were positive about the need to know how much recreational fishing was occurring in New Zealand.

The data would be collected and analysed and a fisheries assessment report published, which would be made public. The research ties in well with work carried out by coastal guardian group Te Korowai o Te Tai o Marokura. The main focus was to ensure a sustainable fishery, she said.

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- Kaikoura Star

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