August 10, 2022
Shortened season for whitebait conservation
The whitebait season has been shortened to run from September 1 to October 30.
The exception is the Chatham Islands which runs from December 1 until the last day of February.
Department of Conservation whitebait fishery manager Nick Moody says making the season consistent across the country is an important step towards a sustainable whitebait fishery.
He says whitebait are taonga and mahinga kai for Māori and provide a much-loved recreational pastime for New Zealanders.
However, four of the six whitebait species are classified as threatened or at risk of extinction from a variety of causes including habitat loss and barriers to their migration.
Other changes included creating new whitebait refuges in Abel Tasman National Park and the southern part of Fiordland National Park, and changes to the regulations on fishing gear and fishing methods.