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News in Brief: August 2019

3 min read

Have your say: Marlborough Sounds scallop fishery

Ministry of Primary Industry is calling all interested New Zealanders to contribute on a draft strategy for the long-term sustainability of the Marlborough Sounds scallop fishery.

The strategy—drafted by The Southern Scallop Working Group and Fisheries New Zealand—outlines the immediate priority: to ensure that any future scallop fishing in the Marlborough Sounds is sustainable and allows the fishery to rebuild to healthy levels.

Following a decline in scallop numbers, closures have been in place in the Southern Scallop fishery, which includes the Marlborough Sounds and Port Underwood, since 2016. It will remain closed until further notice.

“We know there is a keen public interest in this fishery, and we want to know whether the community thinks the strategy is addressing the right issues or if there are other issues to be considered,” Steve Halley, manager of inshore fisheries, said.

Six key objectives have been identified, including:

  • improving scallop habitat and quantity in the Marlborough Sounds,
  • minimising the fishing impacts on scallop habitat and populations by limiting the fishing methods that can be used in some parts of the Marlborough Sounds, and
  • getting better catch information.

“Feedback will be incorporated into the final version of the strategy,” Halley said.

“Any recommendations to change the rules and regulations of the fishery resulting from the strategy will be publicly consulted on and all those with an interest in the fishery will have full opportunity to have their say.”

Find out more about the strategy on

New Gun City megastore in ChCh

Just months after New Zealand’s worst gun massacre, a new Gun City megastore is due to open in Christchurch.

While residents of the Sockburn suburb are divided—with some feeling the timing is insensitive and others who aren’t worried about the store’s presence—owner of the new store, David Tipple, has defended the opening, saying the business is a “legitimate activity”. He added that plans for the store were in place two years ago.

The resource consent for the store was granted in January and did not need to be publicly notified. The store opens in August.

10 Northland tracks permanently closed

In a bid to prevent the spread of kauri dieback disease, the Department of Conservation announced the closure of 10 high-risk walking tracks in the Bay of Islands.

Eight of them are in the Puketi and Omahuta forests, midway between the Bay of Islands and the Hokianga. While kauri dieback disease has been confirmed in Omahuta, several cases are being tested in Puketi.

DOC’s acting Bay of Islands operating manager, Martin Akroyd, has appealed to all Northlanders to heed the track bans. He added that Treaty partners had been consulted before the decision was made.

Temporary closure of an area of South Island fisheries waters

The Kaikoura Marine Guardians have requested a temporary closure of an area of South Island fisheries waters at Waiopuka, Kaikoura, to take any species of fish, aquatic life, or seaweed, for a two-year period with a view to replenish the stock of the species. They believe the closure will also provide time for a longer-term fisheries management measure to be put in place.

Fisheries New Zealand is inviting written submissions in response to this request from persons who have an interest in the stock concerned or in the effects of fishing in the area concerned.

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