Assessment of Recreational Fishing within the Akaroa Harbour Taiapure Management Area, South Island Te Waipounamu, New Zealand
In New Zealand marine recreational fishing is controlled mainly by bag limits and size restrictions, together with Area Management Tools (AMT) such as Taiāpure (local fishery reserve areas established under the Māori Fisheries Act 1989). We undertook a survey of recreational fishing within the Akaroa Harbour Taiāpure, Banks Peninsula, after its establishment in 2006. The aim was to determine the demographic of fishers, the fishing methods utilised and the species targeted and caught. Two types of fishing surveys were undertaken monthly between December 2007 and February 2009. Intercept surveys (451) were conducted from four of the most frequently used slipways and 138 trip records were returned by 35 people who regularly fished in the area. The catch information from 19 locations in the Harbour showed that the most frequently landed fish were blue cod (Parapercis colias), flatfish (Rhombosolea spp.), rock lobster (Jasus edwardsii) and sea perch (Helicolenus percoides). Since a previous survey undertaken in 1997, the fish species targeted have changed, the catch per unit effort (CPUE) for red cod (Pseudophycis bachus) has declined, and recreational fishing trips have shifted from the inner harbour to the harbour entrance and the immediate area outside. Following changes in the management status of this area, we recommend that the surveys be continued over time in order to create a data base on recreational fishing to assess the effectiveness of current controls in protecting fisheries resources.