“In addition to Southland and the Chatham Islands, recreational fishing accounts for the bulk of New Zealand`s cod fishery,” the Ministry of Basic Industries said in a statement. The main objective of the strategy is to work together to ensure a rich and sustainable blue cod fishery for all. We worked with iwi, stakeholders and a blue cod expert panel to develop and finalize it. Note: The traffic light system assigns a colour rating to different areas of the South Island and Chatham Islands. The rating may be modified if available information indicates that the health of stocks is improving or decreasing. The following limits for blue cod bags apply to the zones: The changes were consulted in March last year and more than 900 submissions were received, with most authors supporting a reduction in the daily catch limit for blue cod, Fisheries New Zealand said. The fishing rules for blue cod (and other fish species) differ across the country and are subject to change. Check the rules in your area every time you go fishing. In December 2019, the government began reviewing the final notice on proposed changes to the blue cod rules. Recreational fishers say changes to blue cod fishing rules will be largely ineffective because they do not target the commercial sector. “Unifying the minimum legal size of blue cod at 33 cm will help improve the productivity of blue cod populations by increasing fish sizes and giving them a greater chance to reproduce. This size limit already applies to fish harvesters and recreational fishers in many areas. “It`s such a small percentage of this fishery that reductions in recreational pocket limits will make no difference to the abundance of blue cod in the South Island,” he said, adding that there must be “significant trade reductions” instead.

Changes to the blue cod rules were delayed until April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Application of a two-day accumulation limit for recreational blue cod fishers based on the daily pocket limit established for all areas (except Fiordland Marine Area, where the accumulation limit is 1 day). The 2019 consultation on changing the rules for fishing for blue cod The new rules aim to tackle local overfishing, particularly in parts of the South Island where most blue cod are caught. Taylor said. Photo: André Richard Chalmers, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0, applies a minimum legal size of 33 cm for blue cod in all areas except BCO 1 (upper North Island) where the minimum legal size remains at 30 cm In May 2020, after consultations, the Minister of Oceans and Fisheries made decisions on blue cod rules for recreational and commercial fishing. Responsible Guidelines for the Blue Cod Fishery [PDF, 1.1 MB] Taylor added: “This system reduces the daily limits for blue cod to two blue cod per person in the `red` zones, which are the areas most at risk of local depletion, and higher limits of 10 and 15 in the `orange` and `green` zones,” respectively, which maintain healthier blue cod stocks. Scott Macindoe, a spokesman for the non-profit organization Legasea, agreed that commercial fishing quotas for blue cod should be reduced. Other changes include that all bluecod caught for recreational purposes must be landed in a measurable state, unless they are consumed immediately on the fishing vessel from which they were caught, and the recreational accumulation limit for blue cod is now set at two days (i.e. two daily catch limits per person per multi-day trip), with the exception of the Fiordland Marine Area, where the accumulation limit is one day.

Learn more about blue cod, the rules and how we manage them for future generations. The minimum catch size will be normalized to 33 cm in most areas, except in the upper North Island, the minimum mesh size for blue cod will be increased to 54 mm for all fishers, and a measure known as the “traffic light system” will be used to indicate the daily catch limit for different areas. Emma Taylor, director of fisheries management at Fisheries New Zealand, said in a statement: “These new rules are designed to tackle local overfishing, particularly in parts of the South Island where most blue cod are caught.” Learn more about your cod fishery and the status of your stocks From January 29 to March 26, 2019, we conducted a public consultation on proposed changes to the cod fishing rules: establishing daily recreational catch limits for blue cod in certain areas of the South Island and Chatham Islands using a traffic light system. As part of that strategy, we have developed guidelines for a responsible blue cod fishery. If you follow the guidelines, it will help undersized blue cod survive and continue to contribute to the fishery. Impose a minimum mesh size of 54 mm on blue cod for commercial and recreational fishers Overview of the rules for recreational blue cod – Map [PDF, 1.1 MB] Under the new rules, which will come into effect on July 1, recreational fishers will only be allowed to catch two cod in areas of the South Island and Chatham Islands where fish stocks are low.