Central Fishing Regulations

Sourced from Ministry of Fishing website 14th Jan 2013, regulations may change at any time please check the ministry website for any changes

Contents

Download the Central Fishing Regulation Brochure Here

SMART PHONE APP

Get fish species information on-the-go with the MPI Recreational Fishing App. The app helps you to identify recreational fish species common in your area through images, then displays relevant information such as the minimum legal size, maximum daily limits and area bag limits. Short videos show how to release undersized fish correctly and also how to measure and determine the sex of crayfish. Local notices will give you updates on any temporary closures in the area.

The app is available on both the Apple App Store and Android Market:

Fishing Regulations App

Fishing Regulations App

Recreational Fishing Videos

A Guide to Paua-Ministry for Primary Industries

A Guide to Recreational Fishing

A Guide to Netting

A Guide to Potting

A Guide to Crayfish


Finfish

Daily limits per person

In the Central Fishery Management Area there is a combined daily bag limit of 20 finfish, consisting of any combination of the species listed below unless shown as having no limit:

Finfish species

Minimum fish
length
(cm)

Maximum
daily limit per
person

Minimum set
net mesh size
(mm)

Blue Cod Taranaki to Titahi Bay

33

10

100

Blue Cod Titahi Bay South

33

20

100

Blue Moki

40

20

114

Bluenose

-

5

160

Butterfish

35

20

108

Elephant fish

-

20

150

Flatfish (except Sand flounder)

25

20

100

Garfish (piper)

-

No limit

25

Herrings

-

No limit

25

John Dory

-

20

100

Kahawai

-

20

100

Grey Mullet

-

20

100

Parore

-

20

100

Pilchard

-

No limit

25

Porae

-

20

100

Red Cod

25

20

100

Red gurnard

25

20

100

Red moki

40

20

115

Red snapper

-

20

100

Rig

-

20

150

Sand flounder

23

20

100

School shark

-

20

150

Tarakihi

25

20

100

Trevally

25

20

100

Trumpeter

35

No limit

100

Yellow-eyed mullet

-

No limit

25

All others

-

No limit

100

Additionally, individual limits, over and above the combined bag, apply to:

Finfish species

Minimum fish
length
(cm)

Maximum daily
limit per person

Minimum set
net mesh size
(mm)

Freshwater eels

-

6

12 (Fyke net)

Groper/Hapuku/Bass

-

Refer below

160

Kingfish

75

Refer below

100

Snapper

27

10

100

Groper/Hapuku/Bass and Kingfish: a combined daily bag limit of 5 with no more than 3 kingfish.

There is no limit on other species not named above.

 

LENGTH MEASUREMENT

Finfish length is measured from the tip of the nose to the Middle Ray or “V” in the tail (as shown in diagram).

How to measure shellfish.

Line fishing

  • All surface floats attached to any line must be marked permanently and legibly with the fisher’s initials and surname.
  • No person may use or be in possession of more than one line (other than handlines or rod and reel lines).
  • No person may use or possess a line with more than 25 hooks.
  • Where more than one person is using a line from a vessel (other than rod and reel lines), no more than two lines (other than rod and reel lines) may be used, set from or possessed on board that vessel.

Eels

No person shall take any eels from Lake Horowhenua or the Hokio Stream unless that person does so in exercise of fishing rights pursuant to Section 18 of The Reserves and Other Lands Disposal Act 1956.

General netting restrictions

  • No person may set or possess more than one drag net, set net, fyke net, or any other type of net at any one time.
  • Nets must be hauled by hand.
  • Any net or nets used either individually or jointly must not extend across more than one-quarter of the width of any river, stream, channel, bay or sound.
  • No person may set or use a baited net (except fyke nets).

Set net

  • Only one set net is allowed to be used from, or be on board any vessel. (An additional baitfish net is allowed so long as it is less than 10 metres long and has a mesh size of 50 mm or less).
  • Must not exceed 60 metres in length.
  • Must not be set within 60 metres of another net.
  • Must not be secured by stakes (except fyke nets).
  • Each end of a set net must have a surface float marked permanently and legibly with the fisher’s initials and surname.
  • Must not be used in a way that causes fish to be stranded by the falling tide.

Drag net

  • Drag nets must not exceed 40 metres in length.
  • Total warp length must not exceed 200 metres.
  • The minimum mesh size for Kahawai and Mullet is 85mm. All others as per set net mesh size.

Closed areas

  • Set netting prohibited in Pauatahanui inlet.
  • There are set netting restrictions around Cape Runaway. Contact your local Ministry for Primary Industries office.
  • There are also some closed areas not specified in this publication. Contact the Ministry for Primary Industries for the exact locations.
  • Pukerua Bay, handlines only to be used.

Back to Top ↑

Mātaitai Reserves

Mātaitai reserves are areas where tangatawhenua manage non-commercial fishing through bylaws. Bylaws apply equally to all individuals. Reserves can only be applied for over traditional fishing grounds which are of special significance to tangatawhenua. Generally, there is no commercial fishing within these reserves.

There are a number of Mātaitai Reserves in the Central Area.

Closed Area – Marine Reserve

Kapiti Marine Reserve.

Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve.

Taputeranga Marine Reserve.

Closed Area

Pauatahanui Inlet.

Closed Area – Nets

Wairoa Hard.

Closed Area – North Island West Coast – Nets

North Island West Coast.

Parininihi Marine Reserve

Parininihi Marine Reserve.

Tapuae Marine Reserve / Sugar Loaf Island Marine Protected Area

Tapuae Marine Reserve/Sugar Loaf Island Marine Protected Area.
Back to Top ↑

Closed Area

Taranaki Set Net Area

Pukerua Bay

The taking of shellfish, aquatic life, seaweed and the taking of fish except by hand-held lines is PROHIBITED.

Pukerua Bay.

Closed Area – Marine Reserve

Te Angiangi Marine Reserve.
Back to Top ↑

Shellfish

Shellfish species
Maximum daily limit per person
Minimum size (mm)
Cockles
150
none
Kina (sea eggs)
50
none
Mussels
50
none
Oysters
– Dredge* +
– Rock & Pacific†
50
250
58
none
Paua
– Ordinary*
– Yellow foot*
– Taranaki Paua Area
10
10
10
125
80
85
Pipi
150
none
Scallops – Central* +
20
100
Toheroa #
Prohibited
Prohibited
Tuatua
150
none
All Others • (combined)
50
none

* Dredge oyster, paua and scallop must be landed in the shell and cannot be shucked or shelled seaward of the mean high water mark. This does not include dredge oysters and scallops shucked onboard for consumption at sea within daily bag limits.

† Rock oysters and Pacific oysters must not be opened while they adhere to the object on which they grow.

# Toheroa must not be taken, possessed, or disturbed unless an open season is declared by the Director-General of the Ministry for Primary Industries.

+ Limited provision allows a diver on a vessel to gather extra bag limits of oysters and scallops for up to 2 other people acting in a dive safety capacity from that vessel.

• This is a combined, mixed-species bag limit. It applies to all shellfish species not specifically named above, and includes all crabs, limpets, starfish, periwinkles, whelks, barnacles and freshwater crayfish (koura).

MEASURING SHELLFISH

How to measure shellfish.

Paua: measure the greatest length of the shell in a straight line. Do not measure over the curve of the shell.

Scallop: measure the greatest diameter of the shell.

Dredge Oysters: must not pass through a rigid circular metal ring with an inside diameter of 58mm.

Paua Accumulation Limits

When daily limits are accumulated, the maximum number or amount of paua that one person can have in their possession at any one time is:

  • 20 paua or
  • shucked weight(shell removed) of 2.5kgs of paua

This possession limit applies everywhere, including in the home.

Underwater Breathing Apparatus (UBA)

(Does not include snorkels)

  • No person may take paua using UBA.
  • No person may be in possession of paua while in possession of UBA. This includes possession in or on any vessel or vehicle.

AMATEUR TARANAKI PAUA FISHERY AREA

  • Recreational fishers may take or possesss any Paua that is 85mm or greater in length within the Amateur Taranaki Paua Fishery Area.
  • Paua taken or possessed outside of the Amateur Taranaki Paua Fishery Area must be 125mm or greater in length.

Open season for scallops

  • 15 July to 14 February inclusive.

 

Back to Top ↑

Rock Lobster

Daily limit

No person may take or possess more than 6 rock lobsters (both species combined) taken on any one day.

Possession

Rock lobster may not be possessed seaward of the high water mark in an unmeasurable state.

Protected rock lobster

The following types of rock lobster are protected by law and must be returned immediately to the water:

  • Undersized rock lobsters.
  • Any female rock lobster carrying external eggs (these are carried between the pleopods on the underside of the tail).
  • Any rock lobster in the soft shell stage.
  • Any rock lobster that cannot be measured (e.g. because of damage to the tail preventing accurate measurement).

General restrictions

It is an offence to:

  • Remove external eggs or the egg-bearing appendages from any rock lobster.
  • Use a spear or device which could puncture the shell when taking rock lobster, or possess any rock lobster which has been speared.

Lassoes

Only hand operated loops or lassoes may be used to take rock lobster.

It is prohibited to use a spring loaded loop or lasso.

Rock lobster pots

Limits

  • All pots and surface float must be clearly and permanently marked with the fishers surname and initials.
  • Individuals may use, set, or possess up to three pots in any one day.
  • Two or more individuals fishing from a vessel may use, set, or possess up to six pots in any one day.
  • Bobs and ring pots can be used to catch rock lobster. They are exempted from escape gap requirements but all other requirement (size, pot limits) remain.

Use of Pots

All rock lobster pots must have an escape gap as detailed in the “ESCAPE GAPS FOR ROCK LOBSTER POTS” section.

Escape gap restrictions

  • Round or Beehive pots must have at least 3 escape gaps/or apertures (other than the mouth). Each aperture must have an inside dimension of not less than 54 mm x 200 mm.
    Round or Beehive pots must have at least 3 escape gaps/or apertures (other than the mouth). Each aperture must have an inside dimension of not less than  54 mm x 200 mm.
  • Square or rectangular pots must have at least 2 escape gaps/or apertures (other than the mouth) in opposite faces of the pot. Each aperture shall not be less than 80% of the height or length of the face of the pot in which the apertures are contained. Each aperture shall have an inside dimension of not less than 54 mm x 200 mm.
    Square or rectangular pots must have at least 2 escape gaps/or apertures (other than the mouth) in opposite faces of the pot. Each aperture shall not be less than 80% of the height or length of the face of the pot in which the apertures are contained. Each aperture shall have an inside dimension of not less than 54 mm x 200 mm.

No escape gap or aperture shall be incorporated in either the top or the bottom of any pot.

  • Any rock lobster pot constructed entirely of unaltered spot welded mesh with inside dimensions of 54 mm x 140 mm does not require escape gaps or apertures. Pots must be used without covers or liners or have covers or liners that leave unencumbered at least 80% of the surface area of each of 2 opposite sides.
  • Escape gaps or apertures are designed to allow undersized rock lobster to escape.

Minimum sizes

No person may take or possess

  • Male red rock lobster with a tail width less than 54 mm.
  • Female red rock lobster with a tail width less than 60 mm.
  • Packhorse rock lobster (either sex) with a tail length shorter than 216 mm.

How to measure a red rock lobster

The tail width is measured in a straight line between the tips of the two large (primary) spines on the second segment of the tail, as shown in the diagram which follows:

How to measure red rock lobster.
The sex is easily determined:

  • Females have small pincers on the rear pair of legs.
  • Pleopods are in paired form on each side of the underside of female tails, and are in single form in male tails.
  • If you are unsure of the sex, use the 60 mm measurement and you will be safe.

How to measure packhorse rock lobster

The tail length is measured along the underside in a straight line from the rear of the calcified bar on the first segment to the tip of the middle fan of the tail.

How to measure packhorse rock lobster.
Back to Top ↑