Local community calls for scallop fishery to remain closed.
Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton today announced a further temporary closure to the scallop fishery in the Kaipara Harbour.
"The closure will continue for another year and this will help rebuild the fishery," Jim Anderton said. "I made this decision at the joint request of the Kaipara Harbour Sustainable Fisheries Management Study Group, Environs Holdings Ltd (Te Uri o Hau) and Ngati Whatua. They considered that scallops in the Harbour had not recovered sufficiently in terms of availability and/or size, following the last closure."
The decision extends the temporary closure to non-commercial scallop fishing that was introduced in 2005. With the Harbour already excluding commercial fishing, it now means a closure for all scallop fishing in the area, from Friday 14 September this year until 13 September 2008.
A recent scallop population survey also found low scallop numbers in most of the Harbour and few juveniles to be present.
"Public consultation showed widespread support for a further closure and local iwi were particularly supportive, as they see the Kaipara Harbour as an important customary and recreational fishery that they want to retain for future generations," Jim Anderton said. "This is an excellent example of everyone working together to more effectively manage our fisheries.
"This is what the fisheries management system is all about - people recognising where there are issues within a fishery and working with us to try and turn that around."
The Ministry of Fisheries will update signs in the Kaipara Harbour area to inform people about the closure and its duration.