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On 12 February 2016 the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) advised the Motiti Rohe Moana Trust, on behalf of Nga Hapu o te Moutere o Motiti, had applied for a temporary closure around Astrolabe Reef, Bay of Plenty, to the take of all fisheries resources. The application for a 3 nautical mile radius exclusion zone was made under section 186A of the Fisheries Act 1996.
A 2 nautical mile exclusion zone already exists around Astrolabe Reef. This exclusion zone was established by the Bay of Plenty Harbour Master in October 2011 as a result of the MV Rena running aground on the reef. Depending on the outcome of other processes, the Harbour Master could be in a position to adjust or remove the 2nm exclusion zone by mid-2016.
The Rena disaster has had a significant social, cultural and economic impact on all fishers in the Bay of Plenty region. NZSFC clubs and members have a long and well documented association with Astrolabe Reef and its fisheries. The Council believes the best way to mitigate the adverse effects of the existing closure on fishers and charter operators is to reopen the area to fishing.
On 14 March 2016 the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council and affiliated Bay of Plenty fishing clubs submitted against the proposal as the adverse effects of the proposal on fishing businesses and fishers outweigh any perceived or real benefit.
Submission. NZSFC. 14 Mar 2016
The NZ Sport Fishing Council and affiliated Bay of Plenty fishing clubs do not support the proposal for a s186A temporary closure of Astrolabe Reef, Bay of Plenty. Submission 14 March 2016.
Submission. Tauranga SFC. 10 Mar 2016
The Tauranga Sport Fishing Club oppose the extension of the Astrolabe Reef exclusion zone, for time and spatial extensions. Submission 10 March 2016.
Public notice. MPI. 13 Feb 2016
Public notice calling for submissions on the proposed s186A temporary 2-year closure around Astrolabe Reef, Bay of Plenty. Notice published in the Bay of Plenty Times. 13 February 2016.
Advice letter. MPI. 12 Feb 2016
MPI advise of a request for a temporary 2-year closure around Astrolabe Reef, Bay of Plenty, for 2 years. Closure to apply to the harvest of all fisheries resources in a defined area approx 97 sq kms around the Reef. Ministry for Primary Industries. 12 February 2016.
Closure application. Motiti Trust. 25 Jan 2016
Application for a section 186A 2-year temporary closure of Astrolabe Reef – Te Tau o Taiti to the harvest of all fisheries resources. Application by Nga Hapu o Te Moutere o Motiti. 25 January 2016.
Application appendices. Motiti Trust. Jan 2016
Appendices to support the s186A application for a 2-year temporary closure of Astrolabe Reef to the harvest of fisheries resources. Nga Hapu o Te Moutere o Motiti. January 2016.
Proposed area closure. MPI. Feb 2016
Map of the proposed s186A temporary 2-year closure around Astrolabe Reef, Bay of Plenty. MPI. February 2016
Section 186A Fisheries Act
Section 186A of the Fisheries Act 1996. Temporary closure of fishing area or restriction on fishing methods.