Forest & Bird welcomes the Government’s decision to indefinitely close the commercial and recreational tipa/scallops fishery in the Tīkapa Moana/Hauraki Gulf and Coromandel following the collapse of the fishery and its temporary closure late last year.
“The Minister of Oceans and Fisheries, Stuart Nash, has made the right decision to close this fishery. Forest & Bird also welcomes the support that commercial and recreational fishers and Te Ohu Kaimoana showed for closing the fishery,” says Forest & Bird Hauraki Gulf Co-ordinator, Bianca Ranson,
“Closing the last dredged commercial tipa/scallop fishery in New Zealand should be a wake-up call over how we are managing our coastal seas and the impact of destructive seabed fishing. Tikanga rāhui placed by mana whenua to protect tipa within Tīkapa Moana displayed leadership and if the Government had acted swiftly to back up the rāhui with regulation it might have prevented the collapse of the last two remaining tipa beds.
"We need to clean up the rivers that flow into our coastal seas and end destructive seabed fishing. This means looking at the role of forestry, agriculture, and urban development in polluting coastal seas.”
The Government is currently consulting on a draft fisheries plan for Tīkapa Moana that seeks to allow continued bottom trawling, Danish seining and tipa dredging in parts of the Gulf.
“The Draft Hauraki Gulf Fisheries Plan needs a major rethink to take into account the end of scallop dredging for the foreseeable future and to protect the seabed of the Gulf from bottom trawling and Danish seining. The lesson from the collapse of tipa beds across New Zealand is we can't wait until we have destroyed the things we love before attempting to save them," Ms Ranson says.
Minister’s announcement here: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/news/media-releases/coromandel-scallop-fishery-to-remain-closed/
Draft Hauraki Gulf Fisheries Plan here: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/consultations/draft-hauraki-gulf-fisheries-plan/