The National Rock Lobster Management Group (NRLMG) is seeking feedback on proposed changes to minimum legal size (MLS) of crayfish in CRA3.
Currently, commercial fisherman are allowed to catch 52mm male crayfish over the spring-summer period where recreational fishers have a minimum legal size of 54mm for males year-round. This has long been viewed as inequitable by local recreational fisherman, and there is an opinion of some that the taking of those small males has an impact on the fishery. They claim these rules make it harder for recreational fisherman to catch legal sized crayfish but at present, there is little scientific evidence to back that up.
The NRLMG are currently seeking public support and consultation to put forward to the ministry around the MLS for this fishery. These options could include reducing the recreational male MLS over Autumn-Winter to align with commercial limits or increasing the commercial Autumn-Winter MLS or considering identical year-round MLS for commercial and recreational.