Malborough Sounds Blue Cod

 

Management review 2015

Minister's decision

On October 14th the Minister released his decision for the future management of blue cod in the Marlborough Sounds and Challenger East areas. Overall it was a positive decision, but there is still work to be done. 

Many of the new measures align with our joint submission, made in June 2015. 

The controversial 'slot rule', that saw thousands of live fish returned to the sea, has been abandoned in favour of a new recreational minimum size limit of 33cm.

The seasonal closure, from 1st September to 19th December now applies to commercial fishers as well as recreational fishers. 

It is concerning that the 70 tonne commercial catch limit remains intact while recreational fishers continue to bear the brunt of management changes. 

The New Zealand Sport Fishing Council and its partners will continue to advocate for more balanced decisions for the sake of the blue cod fishery and local interests. 

Background

Management of blue cod in the Marlborough Sounds and top of the South Island was reviewed earlier in 2015. Submissions were requested by 30 June 2015.

Many Marlborough fishers have long-term interests in the Sounds, holding a wealth of knowledge and a perspective passed down from previous generations.The Council worked with a range of organisations and local interests to develop a joint submission that reflected the aspirations of these fishers and environmental interests to achieve the best outcome for the fishery. 

The joint submission from the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council, LegaSea supporters, Marlborough Recreational Fishers Association and the Coalition of the Combined Clubs of Wellington was submitted to MPI on 30 June. The joint blue cod submission is here.               

Blue cod catch

In 2011-12 around 26% of the national recreational harvest of Blue cod was caught in the Marlborough Sounds area. Most Blue cod were caught using a rod and reel or line fishing. Potting or spearfishing accounts for only a fraction of total recreational harvest. Blue cod continue to provide for the cultural, social and economic wellbeing of Marlborough residents and visitors. 

Process documents

This is a collection of documents relevant to the management of Marlborough Sounds Blue cod. Further details can be found on the LegaSea website. 

Click on the right-hand image to download the document or follow the link to read more detail

Minister's decision. Marlborough Sounds blue cod. 14 October 2015 

Nathan Guy announced changes to the rules applying to blue cod fishing in the Marlborough Sounds on the 9th October. On the 14th October his decision letter was released detailing what changes will apply to both recreational and commercial fishing in the Sounds and Challenger East areas. Overall, a positive decision, but still work to be done. 


Summary table. MPI summary of rule changes in MS blue cod fishery. 14 October 2015

A quick reference table from the Ministry for Primary Industries, outlining the rule changes to apply in the Marborough Sounds blue cod and Challenger East areas from 20 December 2015. A more complete explanation of the changes is available in the Minister's decision letter above. 


 

Advice paper. Advice to inform the Minister's decision. 25 August 2015 

Prior to the Minister's decision the Blue Cod Management Group and the Ministry for Primary Industries developed an advice paper summarising the issues and feedback from the 230 submissions received during the statutory consultation phase, and providing recommendations for the Minister. This advice paper is worth reading if you want to understand the rationale behind the Minister's decision. 


LegaSea Update. Opportunity for Minister to win public support. 29 July 2015

Blue cod is an iconic Marlborough Sounds fishery so any mention of management changes evokes a raft of claims and counter-claims. LegaSea is pleased to have recently worked on a submission with four other national or local groups to promote an abundant fishery and improvements to regulations applying to both commercial and recreational blue cod fishing. 


Submission. Joint recreational blue cod submission. 30 June 2015 

A series of recommendations has been made to rebuild the Marlborough Sounds blue cod fish stock and enable reasonable access for recreational fishers. This is a joint submission by the NZSFC, LegaSea supporters, the Marlborough Recreational Fishers Association and the Coalition of the Combined Clubs of Wellington. Download and read the document here.


Management proposals. MPI. 2 June 2015

Discussion document introducing two options for the future management of Blue cod in the Marlborough Sounds and top of the South Island. These proposals have been prepared by the Blue Cod Management Group and issued by the Ministry for Primary Industries. Submission deadline is 30 June 2015.


Summary of two management options. MPI. 2 June 2015 

A table outlining the two proposed options for the future management of Blue cod in the Marlborough Sounds and top of the South Island. These proposals have been prepared by the Blue Cod Management Group and issued by the Ministry for Primary Industries. 


One-page brief of the review and submission process. MPI. 2 June 2015 

A one-page brief explaining the current review process, the objectives sought and what additional actions may be required to compliment the proposed management actions.  


Characterisation report of the Marlborough Blue cod fishery. MPI. 2 June 2015 

A 62-page document describing the research, catches, sector profiles and management applying in the Blue cod fishery at the top of the South Island and in the Marlborough Sounds. This characterisation report was compiled by the Ministry to support the current management review. 


LegaSea Update. Quick action required in Marlborough. 28 May 2015

Blue cod in the Marlborough Sounds are legendary, but due to a number of factors this fishery has been a source of grief for our Marlborough communities. If you have an interest in the future management of this prized fishery please share your feedback with officials by the 15th June deadline. (PLS NOTE: the submission deadline is now 30th June)


LegaSea Update. Unprecedented agreement in Marlborough. 28 April 2015

For the first time in 4 years management of Marlborough Sounds Blue cod is being reviewed and LegaSea is encouraging recreational fishers to have their say on the future of this most prized fishery. There is unprecedented agreement on how Blue cod ought to be managed in the future. So far groups representing more than 20,000 people have agreed on a range of potential options that could be applied to this fish. 


Updated Summary of management review process. 9 April 2015

An updated document summarising the proposed review of the Marlborough Sounds Blue cod fishery. At this stage the Blue Cod Management Group were inviting submissions on what management options ought to be included in the formal consultation document due out mid-year. The recommendations in this summary were supported by the Marlborough Recreational Fishers Association, the Coalition of the Combined Clubs of Wellington, the New Zealand Angling and Casting Association, LegaSea and the NZSFC. 


Summary of management review process. 27 March 2015

The original summary of the proposed review of the Marlborough Sounds Blue cod fishery. At this stage the Blue Cod Management Group were inviting submissions on what management options ought to be included in the formal consultation document due out mid-year. The recommendations in this summary were supported by the Marlborough Recreational Fishers Association, the Coalition of the Combined Clubs of Wellington and LegaSea. 


Posters outlining review process. MPI. March 2015 

MPI summary of the who, what and when. MPI presents members of the Blue Cod Management Group, what they hope to achieve from this review process, what the current status of the stock is, and how people can contribute to the initial proposal phase and the later formal review process. 


Summary of initial review process. MPI. March 2015

MPI invite the public to contribute their views of the current management of Blue cod in the Marlborough Sounds, and to describe how they would like the fishery managed in the future. A review of regulations applying to recreational fishing of Blue cod in the Marlborough Sounds and top of the South Island is due mid-2015.  


Science Plenary. Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). May 2014 

A summary of the available science on blue cod stocks in New Zealand, including Blue Cod 7. Blue Cod 7 encompasses the Marlborough Sounds management area, Statistical Area 017, Challenger East and the Challenger Fisheries Management Area, extending from Westland to the Clarence River on the east coast.