Review of blue cod fishing regulations

Closing Date:
Contact: Inshore fisheries management

UPDATE – 18 December 2019

The Government is considering final advice on the proposed amendments to the blue cod regulations. A full announcement on any regulation changes for blue cod is expected in late February 2020. Any new regulations will likely come into effect in April 2020.

Have your say

Fisheries New Zealand sought your feedback on the following proposed changes:

  1. require all fishers to have a minimum cod pot mesh size of 54mm
  2. standardise the Minimum Legal Size (MLS) for recreational fishing at 33cm
  3. require all recreational fishers to land blue cod in a measurable state
  4. set a two-day accumulation limit for recreational fishing
  5. change the recreational daily bag limits for some blue cod stocks, according to a ‘traffic light’ system.

Note: In all cases, we also consulted on retaining the status quo as an option (that is, there may be no change to these regulations).

The consultation ran from 29 January until 5pm on 26 March 2019.

Background to proposals

The proposed changes were one outcome of the National Blue Cod Strategy, a guiding document to manage blue cod in New Zealand released in late 2018. Other initiatives outlined in the strategy included:

  • an integrated education and research programme
  • reviews of the total allowable catch, total allowable commercial catch, and allowances for key blue cod stocks later this year.

The changes were designed to ensure that areas that had been depleted by localised overfishing were rebuilt. In the Challenger East Area (including Marlborough Sounds), most of the measures (including a daily bag limit of 2) had been in place since December 2015 to ensure the ongoing sustainable utilisation of the fishery.

Consultation document

Proposed changes to the blue cod fishing regulations [PDF, 705 KB]

If you can’t open the document or would like printed copies, email

Related documents

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