Introduction of recreational bag limit in the southern bluefin tuna fishery

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Media contact: MPI media team
Telephone: 029 894 0328

Fisheries New Zealand has today announced the introduction of a daily bag limit in the recreational southern bluefin tuna fishery.

From 1 June 2019, the recreational southern bluefin tuna fishery will have a daily bag limit of 1 southern bluefin tuna per person, per day.

Acting director of fisheries management Steve Halley says this is the first time that a catch limit has been put in place for the recreational southern bluefin tuna fishery and reflects the need to carefully manage the rebuild of this stock.

"Estimates of recreational catch in this fishery have been low in previous years, however, in July 2017 we saw a substantial increase in how much was being caught.

"Following consultation and having received responses from tangata whenua and submissions from stakeholders, Fisheries New Zealand advised the Minister of Fisheries to introduce a daily limit for the recreational fishery.

"Introducing a bag limit will ensure that New Zealand continues to meet its international obligations under the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT).

"New Zealand is a founding member of CCSBT, which regionally manages this highly migratory species and we have an obligation to manage our catch of southern bluefin tuna within our national allocation.

"Fisheries New Zealand will be looking at longer-term measures to manage this fishery, but in the interim, a bag limit will be in place until we understand more about this highly variable developing fishery," says Mr Halley.

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