A two-year rahui (closure) on fishing at Maunganui Bay (Deep Water Cove) at Cape Brett has been extended for a further two years.
The area was first closed to all fishing, except kina, on December 1, 2010. Ngati Kuta and Patukeha ki Te Rawhiti, the two resident hapu, have requested a further closure as they consider that more time is required to allow depleted stocks in Maunganui Bay to continue rebuilding.
The two hapu have maintained a traditional rahui over Maunganui Bay since March 2009, due to concern about the depletion of fish stocks. The further closure maintains statutory support for the traditional rahui.
Ministry for Primary Industries spokesman David Scranney said kina had been excluded from the temporary closure because information showed they were abundant in Maunganui Bay.
Spokesman for the two hapu Robert Willoughby said the hapu were encouraged by the widespread support from the local community for the initiative.
"Maunganui Bay has always been an important customary fishing area for our people. We consider that this further temporary closure will assist with regeneration of fish stocks in the area, not only for customary purposes but also for the benefit of the wider community. It will be especially helpful to species that are continuing to establish around the artificial reef formed by scuttling the ex-frigate Waitaha/Canterbury in the Bay in 2007," Mr Willoughby said.
Maunganui Bay will remain closed until November 30, 2014, to the taking of all fish, aquatic life and seaweed, except kina.
Fishery officers will continue to patrol and enforce the closure. Fines up to a maximum of $100,000 apply to anybody caught breaching it. Members of the public are encouraged to call 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224) if they see anything suspicious at Maunganui Bay, or elsewhere.