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Marine reserves proposed for the Bay of Islands

Marine reserves proposed for the Bay of Islands

The Bay of Islands community group Fish Forever has published a community consultation document that proposes the protection of 10% of the enclosed waters of the Bay of Islands with no-take marine reserves.

Two potential marine reserve sites are put forward and Fish Forever intends to generate constructive public discussion around these sites. An online submission form is available to assist this process and the public is urged to participate by visiting http://www.fishforever.org.nz.

The potential sites, named the Waewaetorea Reserve and the Maunganui Reserve, are the outcome of five years consultation, which included a public survey that gave the community an opportunity to suggest where reserves should be located in the Bay of Islands. The areas that are proposed were top choices both from the popular and scientific perspectives. They cover 6.3% of the Bay of Islands waters.

The proposition is that these areas become fully no- take reserves with generational review (25 years).

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Snapper One Region Rule Change

Snapper One Region Rule Change

On the 1 April 2014 changes to the rules for snapper in the Snapper 1 Region came into effect. The bag limit is changing to 7 snapper per fisher per day (previously 9), and the size limit is increasing to 30cm (from 27cm).

The Snapper 1 Region covers the East Coast between North Cape and Cape Runaway out to a distance of 200 nautical miles. There are no changes to the bag limits or minimum legal sizes outside this area. For bag and size limits in other regions, check your local fishing rules.

The changes to the Snapper 1 bag and size limits are part of a long term plan to improve New Zealand’s most valuable inshore finfish fishery. The changes will help improve the sustainability of snapper stocks and are part of a larger Snapper 1 management programme.

Every fisher can support New Zealand’s fisheries through good fish handling practices. Gentle handling and careful return of unwanted or undersize fish contributes to the sustainability of the fishery through increasing survival rates.  Simple steps like keeping fish in the water where possible, returning fish close to the surface of the water and removing hooks gently can all help improve a fish’s chance of survival after release. Advice on good fish handling practices is available through our website.

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Three new marine reserves

Three new marine reserves

Fishing, mining and exploration has been banned from 435,000 hectares of subantarctic ocean with the establishment of three new marine reserves.
Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith officially established the reserves, which surround the Antipodes, Bounty and Campbell Islands, on Sunday.
Marine reserve status prohibits fishing, mining, petroleum exploration or marine farming in the area.

The islands are a breeding site for albatross and are home to three species of penguin, the fur seal, the New Zealand sea lion and the elephant seal.
Parliament passed legislation in February to allow the reserves, which will protect 435,000 hectares of sea.
“The strength of these marine reserves is that we now have complete ecosystem protection covering the land and the sea of these subantarctic islands,” Dr Smith said.
The three reserves bring New Zealand’s total number of marine reserves to 37.

 

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Some good news from Nick Smith

Some good news from Nick Smith

Significant increases in the abundance and size of marine species in Tasman Bay marine reserves confirm their conservation benefits, Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith said today while publicly releasing a new research report at the Horoirangi Marine Reserve north of Nelson.

“It is so encouraging to see the irrefutable evidence of the success of these marine reserves especially given my extensive involvement in both these reserves being established. These results reinvigorate my ambition to create a record number of new marine reserves this year,” Dr Smith says.

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First discovery of a New Zealand polychaete - echinoderm association

First discovery of a New Zealand polychaete - echinoderm association

Dr Roger Grace made the first discovery and have now found the hesionid living under Fellaster zelandiae (sand dollar) intertidally or in the shallow subtidal
at a number of places in the northern North Island (see map on attached related document), present with from 1% to up to 44% of larger urchins, with usually just one per urchin, but with up to five worms observed together under an urchin.

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