A little effort by everyone will go a long way. Tarakihi is just another species below abundant levels, working together is the best way we can have an impact and enhance our fisheries.
Commercial fishing represents around 95% of annual tarakihi harvest, recreational is less than 5%.
Current commercial catches from east coast stocks, between Northland to Otago, are causing a sustainability risk.
Significant commercial catch reductions are required to rebuild tarakihi abundance. The question becomes - how long we are prepared to wait for that rebuild. The Minister of Fisheries is considering a range of options to achieve the rebuild within 10 or 20 years.We can't wait 20 years.
The Ministerial decision is required by October 2018.
The Minister is also considering removing tarakihi from the combined finfish daily bag limit and instead setting a tarakihi specific bag limit, on the basis that it will help rebuild tarakihi abundance. Even if we stopped all recreational fishing it would make no difference to the rebuild because we are only 5% of the total catch. Bag limit changes are being used to reduce recreational access to tarakihi.
Independent research in 2015 found that 142,000 Kiwis target tarakihi on a day’s fishing. More than half of people who landed tarakihi came home with 4 or fewer fish. This is a major concern given that it is one of the top five inshore recreational fish and the target species for many people south of the Bay of Plenty.