Saturday, May 18, 2024

Feedback sought on temporary fishing closures for the Hauraki Gulf

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The summary of proposed temporary closures includes
Umupuia Beach and prohibition of taking tuangi (cockles).
Photo Mrogex

Fisheries New Zealand is inviting feedback on applications from iwi for temporary fishing closures across three separate areas within the Hauraki Gulf.

The proposed closures cover Waiheke Island, Umupuia Beach near the Duder Regional Park, and the coastline of Te Mātā and Waipatukahu and, if approved, would prohibit the take of some shellfish species from these areas for two years, says Emma Taylor, director fisheries management.

“We support traditional customary fisheries management such as rāhui and consider a range of views along with the best available science and information. This includes information we receive from tangata whenua and people who have valuable insights about what’s going on in their fisheries — it’s local knowledge from people who know their fishery well,” says Taylor.

The applicants, Ngāti Pāoa, Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki, and Ngāti Tamaterā are members of the Pou Rāhui Research Project, an initiative incorporating mātauranga Māori alongside modern scientific tools to restore identified marine taonga species within rāhui areas of their rohe. The project is aimed at developing iwi capability for assessing the need for rāhui and managing their implementation.

Ngāti Pāoa, Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki, and Ngāti Tamaterā, have expressed concern for the long-term sustainability of certain taonga species in their rohe moana.

“The removal of fishing pressure is an immediate way we can help these taonga species recover so they continue to provide for future generations,” says Ms Taylor.

Summary of proposed temporary closures:

  • Waiheke Island: Prohibit the take of kūta (mussels), kōura (rock lobster), pāua, and beach cast tipa (scallops), the taking of other scallops is already prohibited.
  • Umupuia Beach: Prohibit the take of tuangi (cockles).
  • Te Mātā and Waipatukahu: Prohibit the take of tio (oysters), kūtai (mussels), pipi, and tuangi (cockles).

“We’d like to hear from anyone with an interest to understand the viewpoints and experiences of the people affected by the proposals. This information is considered alongside science and any other relevant facts to develop advice for the Minister who will make the final decision.”

Submissions can be made online by 5pm on June 7.

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