Photo / File
Gathering of shellfish from Tūwakamana beach/Cockle Bay in East Auckland has been banned all year-round for the next three years, the Ministry of Primary Industries has announced.
“The year-round closure will remove pressure and help the cockle population recover,” said Fisheries New Zealand’s Jacob Hore.
The closure bans the recreational harvesting of any inter-tidal shellfish, including cockles, green-lipped mussels, oysters, crabs, limpets, starfish, periwinkles, whelks, barnacles and snails.
“Recent information has shown a decline in the number of large cockles in the area, which also supports information we have received from the community. This information, along with feedback through public consultation, shaped our advice to the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries on his decision to implement a full year-round closure at Cockle Bay/Tūwakamana."
The closure will be reviewed after a period of three years.
Signs in the area have been updated to advise people of the new restrictions. Fishery officers regularly patrol the beach and will be supporting the introduction of the closure through monitoring, education, and where appropriate enforcement, said MPI.