Regional | Hauraki Gulf

Fishing closures proposed for Hauraki Gulf to restore marine taonga species

Fisheries New Zealand is inviting feedback on temporary fishing closures across three separate areas within the Hauraki Gulf, including Waiheke Island. Photo / NZME

Three iwi have applied for temporary fishing closures across three areas within the Hauraki Gulf.

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 proposed closures cover Waiheke Island, Umupuia Beach near the Duder Regional Park, and the coastline of Te Mātā and Waipatukahu on the Coromandel Peninsula.

The application was lodged with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) which is now inviting feedback on the proposals.

MPI fisheries management director Emma Taylor said if approved, the closures would prohibit taking some shellfish species from these areas for two years.

“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,” Taylor said.

The Pou Rāhui Research 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,” said Taylor.

“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 until 5pm on June 7.

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).

- NZ Herald