New recreational rules to support hāpuku and bass fisheries

The daily limits on recreationally caught hāpuku (also known as groper) and bass will be lowered to a total of two per person in some areas, with a new accumulation limit of three per person on multi-day trips.

Oceans and Fisheries Minister, David Parker said the rule changes would take effect from November 28 and would aid the recovery of stocks in some areas.

The changes apply to the North Island and the west coast of the South Island, in the Auckland East and Auckland West, Central and Challenger recreational fishing areas.

“Hāpuku is a highly valued fish for recreational, customary and commercial fishers alike,” David Parker said.

“These changes follow significant cuts to commercial catch allowances and will further support the sustainability of these fish.

There are fishing spots around the country that unofficially or officially bear the same name – Groper Rock, or Hāpuku River because they were once common there.

Sadly, it’s very unlikely people will be able to find hāpuku in those places now.

Feedback from fishers across the North Island and upper South Island signalled widespread concern for hāpuku and bass fisheries in these areas.

Information from commercial catch reporting has also shown a downward trend in these fish in those areas, supporting those concerns.”

Summary of the changes: 

• Recreationally caught hāpuku and bass will no longer have a combined daily bag limit with kingfish of five in these areas. 

• Recreational daily limit of two hāpuku and/or bass per person per day. 

• A new accumulation limit (for a multi-day fishing trip) of a maximum of three hāpuku and/or bass. 

• Kingfish will continue to have a daily limit of three kingfish per person per day.

Public consultation on the changes was part of Fisheries New Zealand’s regular reviews in October 2021 and April 2022.

More information can be found on MPI’s website at mpi.govt.nz/consultations/reviewof-sustainability-measures- 2022-april-round/

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