The New Zealand Sport Fishing Council actively participates in many management, policy and science processes. It is our intention to report on those processes and any new developments as they occur.
In the list below the latest reports are at the top of the list....Click on the image to the right to read the report.
The Bay of Islands International Yellowtail Tournament has provided a valuable opportunity to measure a large number of fish at the same time every year. This helps monitor what is happening with the kingfish population in the years between the 5-yearly ageing projects.
This work is funded by fishers, not the government. This project has the support of the Bay of Islands Swordfish Club, New Zealand Sport Fishing Council and LegaSea.
The graphs provided in this report enable you to follow the yearly development and growth of kingfish. You can download a copy of the report at the above link.
Yellowtail kingfish are one of the premier sports fish in New Zealand. The number of recreational fishers targeting yellowtail has increased in the last five years. While many of the fish caught are released, the large size of the fish means that total harvest is significant.
In 2011-12 it was estimated that 64,700 yellowtail kingfish were kept by recreational fishers in New Zealand, for a total weight of 662 tonnes (+/- 11%). Most were caught by rod and line from boats, but land based and spearfishing methods also feature.
New Zealand recreational fishers caught and kept 4,553,000 snapper, 1,170,000 kahawai and 682,500 blue cod in 2011-12. These harvest estimates and those for many other species, along with methods used and the number of fishing trips, have been detailed in a report published by the Ministry for Primary Industries.
Release and recapture data for the 2012-13 season are summarised in this report and compared with the data from previous seasons. Particular recaptures that provide growth or movement information of significance or interest are described. The number of fish tagged and released in New Zealand this season (2263) was less than the ten year mean.
An update from the Ministry for Primary Industries on the management and research for Highly Migratory Species. This update covers regional management of HMS species, shark tagging, seabirds, the HMS management plan and a Longline Code of Practice.
Weather conditions were marginal during the 2014 Bay of Islands Swordfish Club's International Yellowtail Tournament so boats were limited to where they could reasonably fish. The smaller size fish presented during this contest may represent the size of fish available just in the Bay of Islands area rather than the broader northeastern coastIne that is normally targeted during this contest. On the bright side, these fish may represent a new cohort entering the fishery, so it will be interesting to watch this in future years.
Many of the world's leading players in the field of billfish research and up-and-coming scientists were at the 5th International Billfish Symposium in Taipei, Taiwan, in the first week of November. The focus was on the global conservation and sustainable management of billfishes. With support from the NZ Sport Fishing Council and Whangamata Ocean Sports Club John Holdsworth attended to present the early results from the marlin ID project led by Clive Roberts and Lara Shepherd from Te Papa.
This report provides updated information on kingfish caught in the 2013 Bay of Islands Swordfish Club's International Yellowtail Tournament. In 2010 just 14% of fish landed in the contest were 110cm or more. This year, 32% were this size or larger. This is very good news!
This report confirms there have been three tagged striped marlin recaptures so far in 2013. A big improvement from the 2011-12 season when zero recaptures were recorded. Two of this year's recaptures are short-term tags. The other was a longer term free swimming fish and had travelled much further, 1127 nautical miles. Read the details here.......
The New Zealand Sport Fishing Council hosted a meeting to discuss the proposed extension of the set net prohibition area in the Manukau Harbour. This meeting unanimously supported the protection of Maui dolphin, and rejected the proposed closure of around 66 square kilometres.
Two New Zealand Sport Fishing Council representatives attended and participated in a meeting to discuss a proposed marine farm in Whangaroa Harbour, Northland. A local fisheries company has sought resource consent from the Northland Regional Council. Around 80 people attended this meeting, there was unanimous opposition to the proposed farm.
An easy 2-page summary of the New Zealand Marine Research Foundation report describing the trends in Yellowfin Tuna catch in New Zealand and the Southwest Pacific. This includes graphs showing rapidly declining yellowfin captures in New Zealand and exponential growth in the longline catch of yellowfin in the Pacific.
Yellowfin tuna has been an important target and bycatch species for recreational fishers for 30 years. It is the absence of smaller yellowfin, which have not arrived in any number for most of the last decade, that has been the main cause of the decline in the recreational fishery. This NZ Marine Research Foundation report describes and explains the trends in Yellowfin Tuna catch in New Zealand waters. It makes interesting reading....................
Kingfish are a highly valued catch for recreational and charter fishers around northern New Zealand. Since 2010 researchers have collected length and some age data from kingfish caught during the Bay of Islands Yellowtail Tournament. In 2012 some interesting results were produced......
This report is a must-read if you want to know more about kingfish and what is happening to them on the northeastern coast, between North Cape and Cape Runaway. The number of 10 to 16kg kingfish is encouraging. It would be useful to track what happens to those fish in Northland to see whether they stay and grow bigger, disperse to other areas or get fished out.
Release and recapture data for the 2010–11 season (July to June fishing year) are summarised in this report and compared with those from previous seasons. Particular recaptures that provide growth or movement information of significance or interest are described.
Commercial fishers report an increase in bluefin tuna catch rate, taking all of last year's Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) and in-season increase (550 tonne). Commercial albacore catch was up last season and skipjack catch was up in New Zealand waters, mainly because there were three NZ super-seiners rather than one fishing over summer.
This meeting was convened to discuss a range of important issues prior to attendance at the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission meeting in late September. Korea had proposed to ban night fishing. Purse seining around Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) was highly controversial due to the ongoing catch of juvenile Big Eye and Yellowfin Tuna.
In late June the Minister of Fisheries, Phil Heatley, invited eight people from the recreational sector to Wellington to discuss "options to enhance the recreational fishing experience". The Minister was keen to explore possiblities that were available within current legislation. This report covers the discussions before and during the Minister's meeting, and includes feedback sent to the Minister after the meeting. Click on the image to the right to read the report.
A letter from the Minister of Fisheries inviting the NZSFC to a meeting to discuss options to enhance the recreational fishing experience. The NZ Recreational Fishing Council and a member from each of the Ministry's regional recreational fisheries forums would also be invited to the meeting, planned for late August/early September.
When the Quota Management System was introduced in 1986 commercial catches in many inshore fisheries needed to be reduced. The government offered compensation to commercial fishers. Some fishers opted not to take compensation, they would instead wait for the stock to rebuild and they would claim what is now referred to as 28N rights. These are preferential rights to any increase in a Total Allowable Commercial Catch. For example, if the MInister increases the TACC for a gurnard stock the first people to receive an increase in quota shares (and catching rights) are the holders of 28N rights. Once the 28N rights are discharged the remaining TACC increase is shared amongst all quota shareholders in that stock. This paper from MFish provides a explanation for the origin and application of 28N rights.