Major whitebaiting changes mooted in effort to protect future fish stocks
A proposal to ban whitebaiting on some rivers for up to 10 years has been labelled “disgraceful” by a West Coast mayor.
Proposals for managing the decline of whitebait in New Zealand were released for public consultation by the Department of Conservation (DOC) on Tuesday.
The proposals include banning exports, restricting the equipment used, limiting upstream fishing, reducing the length of the season and closing some rivers for up to 10 years. DOC recommends the season be shortened two weeks, to between August 15 to November 15.
Be sure to also check out the excellent video of whitebait scoop netting at Smithfield, Timaru, in the same Stuff article.
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Hauls lower than usual, some South Canterbury whitebaiters say
South Canterbury whitebaiters have cited a relative lack of rain as the reason behind what they say was a slow season in the region.
The season, which runs from August 15 to November 30, could be the last under present regulations, as the Department of Conservation (DOC) hopes to begin consultation soon on proposed solutions for ensuring the sustainability of the whitebait fishery.
While several whitebaiters who spoke to Stuff said the numbers were not as good as some years, South Canterbury woman Eve Akurangi has reported a good season catching up to 100 pound (about 45kg).
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