New Recreational Crayfish Rules for Marlborough

New Recreational Crayfish Rules for Marlborough

Fisheries New Zealand announced changes to the recreational fishing rules for rock lobster in the Canterbury/Marlborough (CRA 5) rock lobster fisheries, effective from 1 July 2020.

For the Marlborough/Canterbury rock lobster fishery, known as CRA 5, the recreational accumulation limit has reduced to 3 daily bag limits (a total of 18 rock lobsters). Bag and tag conditions have also been introduced, requiring fishers to clearly store and label each day’s catch. These rules already apply in the Kaikōura Marine Area, a sub-area of CRA 5.

The changes have been made to support the current rebuild of the rock lobster fishery from low levels, and to assist with addressing illegal take, says director of fisheries management Emma Taylor. “We regularly review New Zealand’s fisheries to ensure they remain sustainable, and when there is evidence that stocks are low we take action.”

In addition, there a new requirement for telson clipping, which involves cutting the last third of the middle fan of a lobster’s tail.

“This is to help easily identify recreationally caught lobster so it can’t be traded, sold, or bartered. It assists fisheries compliance in detecting and deterring illegal take and sale of crayfish.

“Crayfish are highly valued by customary, recreational, and commercial fishers. Our job is to work to find a balance between different communities’ needs, and to ensure our fisheries continue to provide for us all and in a sustainable way.”

Consultation with tangata whenua and key stakeholders from a range of interest groups showed general support for the rule changes.

Summary of the changes

Marlborough/Canterbury (CRA 5)

  • The accumulation limit for spiny rock lobster is now 3 daily bag limits (a total of 18 lobsters).
  • Fishers must store each day’s catch in a bag or container that is clearly labelled with the individual fisher’s name, date it was taken, and the number held.
  • Recreationally caught rock lobsters are required to be telson clipped

Telson Clipping

MPI Fisheries – Nelson/Marlborough/Kaikoura have created a really great video and posted to their Facebook page, showing how to clip a Crayfish Tail:

NZ Fishing rules

We encourage people to check the rules before going fishing. The easiest way to do this is download the NZ Fishing Rules app on Android or iPhone:

NZ Fishing Rules app – Google Play

NZ Fishing Rules app – App Store

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