Gisborne - July 2012

Minister deprives public of crayfish share

Last updated 11:57 04/07/2012

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Unbelievably, the Minister of Fisheries has once again ruled that the concessions to take 'undersized' crayfish will remain for commercial fishermen.

Unanimous public wishes to abolish this inequity have had no impact on David Carter's decision. Heads are being scratched right now on our options, but one thing is sure - the fishing public are angry about this one.

First of June is the commencement of the commercial rock lobster concession season. They have a 30-tonne increase this year, gauged on a Catch Per Effort Pot Lift, which determines the average yield per pot lift.

Because this has apparently improved, the quota in consequence has increased. Trish Rae, formerly of option4 and advocacy stalwart for the Sport Fishing Council, said this CRA3 management procedure is "illegal" at a meeting held in Gisborne. (See full story elsewhere.)

Southern bluefin tuna are running well offshore, and the traditional season is the end May till the end of July.

A commercial long-liner tells me it has been the "best ever" season for southern bluefin off the west coast, and that some fishers were landing up to 80 bluefin per long-line shot. He also said commercial will be getting an increase in TACC, and more quota is likely next year. This contradicts what scientists say about bluefin tuna numbers. If the weather improves, put some marlin gear back in the water and give it a go.

Tarakihi and snapper are around in reasonable numbers, but move out deeper and fish in about 80m. In this depth some very nice kingfish of up to 25kg have been taken. In closer there are a few smaller snapper, but sometimes thousands of spiny dogfish, too. We saw one guy dragging in a set-net left overnight. He had no room left in his boat owing to the hundreds of spiny dogs rolled up in the net.

Pup hapuku can be found around the drop-off. Spawning begins August/September so you then need to fish much deeper. Some good catches of gemfish have been recorded mid-winter in 200-300m in places such as Nalders, Baistows and the Dog Leg. Probably the best bet this time of year is still Westpac, South Rocks, Outer Penguins, Roman Nose and Dog Leg.


Gisborne by Alain Jorion
Ph 06 868 9588

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