Published On: Tue, Jun 2nd, 2015

Ward Beach Crayfishing Boat Rockhopper Launched with Bulldozer, Marlborough, NZ

Ward Beach Crayfishing Boat Rockhopper Launched with Bulldozer, Marlborough, NZ

Crayfishing vessel the Rockhopper being launched with the aid of a bulldozer at Marlborough’s Ward Beach. This location is 90 km north-east of Kaikoura. The coastline is rocky and difficult to access. There is good small boat and kayak fishing by launching into the Flaxmere River provided sea conditions are calm enough. The area is well known for paua, crayfish (rock lobster), blue moki, blue cod, and many other species. Diving and shore fishing (surfcasting) are also popular at Ward Beach. It is probably fair to say that the reef directly in front of the carpark gets a hammering from divers.

Ward Beach view from a wide angle lens.

Ward Beach, Marlborough. Rocky headlands on either side shelter the beach to some extent. View taken with a wide angle lens.

Ward Beach surfcasters.

Surfcasting at Ward Beach, Marlborough. The sea-bed straight in front of the car park is free of obstructions. Click to enlarge.

Diver at Ward Beach return from spear fishing around the rocks.

Divers at Ward Beach return from spear fishing around the rocks.

Ward Beach. You can just make out the diver's aluminium pontoon boat in the Flaxbourne River. The river's entrance from the sea is just out of view to the left.

Ward Beach. You can just make out the diver’s aluminium pontoon boat in the Flaxbourne River behind the shingle spit. The river’s entrance from the sea is just out of view to the left.

Ward Beach map.

Ward Beach. View from above courtesy of Google Earth, DigitalGlobe, and TerraMetrics. Positions marked on map. 1. Where cray boats are launched. 2. Surfcasting in front of car park, but you can fish all along the spit. 3. Entrance to the Flaxbourne River. Click map to enlarge.

Earthquake 2016 and its effects at Ward Beach

Following the 2016 earthquake, the seabed has risen markedly at Ward Beach. This has seriously impacted the commercial fishing operation. In my opinion, the fishing company should have been permitted to take reasonable steps to continue their business without bureaucratic interference especially given their long history at the site and the considerable extra risk, cost, and time that it would take to fish this coast for crayfish operating out of Kaikoura. You can read more about this on Stuff.co.nz in this article. Environment Court refuses to amend crayfish company’s injunction order, by Jennifer Eder. Last updated 13:07, 25 March 2018  

About the Author

- Fishingmag.co.nz website editor.

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