December 15, 2022
Coromandel scallop closure welcomed
Fisheries Minister David Parker’s use of emergency powers to close the last two open beds in the Coromandel scallop fishery over summer has been welcomed by recreational fishing advocates.
Minister Parker acted after a new camera-based survey of beds at Little Barrier/Te Hauturu-o-Toi and Colville channel found serious decline.
He said while the effects from fishing will have played a part, it is likely other factors are also driving the decline including sedimentation from land activities, water quality, and environmental conditions linked to climate change.
Legasea project manager Sam Woolford says the move was necessary because of years of mismanagement through a quota system that allowed over-harvest and destructive fishing techniques.
“The only legal way to commercially harvest scallops at the moment is using a scallop dredge so what we wanted to see and what we’ve been working with a lot of hapu up and down the coast is is actually transitioning into more meaningful harvest methods but also to recognise the environment is changing and the amount we are taking out of the water is probably not sustainable,” he says.
Consultation started today on a full review of the Coromandel scallop fishery is being fully reviewed, with a longer term closure proposed as part of Fisheries New Zealand’s regular sustainability reviews for the 1 April fishing year.