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Rock Lobster Concession Areas Retained

Crustaceans Economics Politics +3 more

NEW ZEALAND - The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) announced today that the existing rock lobster Concession Area Minimum Legal Size (MLS) Regulations for CRA 3 (Gisborne), CRA 7 (Otago) and CRA 8 (Southern) will be retained.

This decision results from a review of regulations which allow commercial fishers to land rock lobsters in these fisheries at smaller sizes than elsewhere in New Zealand.

MPI Director Fisheries Management, James Stevenson-Wallace says the Minister for Primary Industries considered submissions received on the MPI initial advice paper, the views of the National Rock Lobster Management Group and the final advice from MPI before making his decision.

Concession areas have been in place for many years. They provide the commercial sector with significant economic benefits and their removal would have a negative impact on the performance of the sector overall.

MPI employs a fisheries management approach for rock lobster which aims to ensure there are adequate numbers of lobsters available for all sectors.

The management approach is responsive to changes in numbers of rock lobster in the area and it helps to maintain a strong and healthy fishery for the benefit of everyone who catches rock lobsters, says Mr Stevenson-Wallace.

In the CRA 8 (Southern) fishery rock lobster numbers have been maintained at very high levels for many years and it is adequately providing fishing opportunities for all sectors. In comparison to CRA 8, rock lobster numbers in the CRA 3 (Gisborne) and CRA 7 (Otago) fisheries have not been managed at such high levels in recent years.