Fisheries Officers are urging seafood gatherers not to be greedy

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

Don't go over the limit, that's the message from Fisheries New Zealand who are encouraging those diving for seafood in the middle of summer to follow regulations and ensure stocks aren't depleted.

Chief Fisheries Officer for Te Tairāwhiti Richard Ratapu says, “Tomorrow is another day to dive for seafood and to fish, so I think there's no need to go and fill the freezers,” says Ratapu.

Ratapu says at this time of year people are tempted to push the limit.

“This morning, I went out to Wainui beach, an individual had two undersized crayfish. I spoke with him and gave him a warning,” says Ratapu.

Individuals can take 10 pāua, 6 crayfish and 50 kina each. Male crayfish need to exceed 55mm in length and females need to exceed 60mm in length.

“If you want to take more, something to consider is going to the marae, applying for a permit, gaining authorisation from the appointed guardian,” says Ratapu.

Ratapu says his crew are kaitieki and it's a good pathway for Māori.

“In my opinion, this is a good environment for Māori to work in because we're here to help people, we're here to protect the sea,” says Ratapu.

The regulations for seafood are available online at Fisheries New Zealand.