Otago lobster limit increased

NEIL RATLEY
Last updated 10:28 21/03/2014

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Otago lobster fishermen will be able to haul in bigger catches this season after the Government announced changes to the commercial catch limit in the Otago (CRA 7) fishery.

The commercial catch quota for the Southland (CRA 8) fishery was unchanged at 962 tonnes.

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has announced changes to catch limits for seven commercial fish stocks, aimed at ensuring their sustainability for all New Zealanders. A 22 tonne increase in commercial catch limits for crayfish for Otago (CRA 7) has been approved ahead of the season, which starts on April 1.

The increase comes after a cut of 20 tonnes to Otago's lobster fisheries commercial quota for last season, from 64 tonnes to 44 tonnes.

''The new limits are based on robust research and management information, and views from all stakeholders in the various fisheries,'' Mr Guy said.

In addition, the National Rock Lobster Management Group provided advice to the Minister on crayfish fisheries. This group is made up of representatives from the recreational, customary and commercial sectors.

The other changes were a 36 tonne decrease in commercial catch limits for Bay of Plenty (CRA 2), a 33 tonne decrease in Wellington/Hawkes Bay (CRA 4), a 35 tonne increase for Gisborne (CRA 3) and 14 tonne increase for Westland/Taranaki (CRA 9).

A significant increase in the southern blue whiting fishery near Campbell Island (SWB 6I) has enabled a rise in the catch limit from 30,000 tonnes to 40,000 tonnes.

However, there has also been a decrease to the scallop commercial catch limit at the top of the South Island, from 747 tonnes to 400 tonnes.

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