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Crayfish (Rock lobster)


Mismanagement of crayfish must stop!

crayfish management areas

Minister's decision

On 20th March 2014 the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy, released his decisions for selected crayfish stocks and other species. Recreational fishers can expect little improvement to the lack of size and numbers of crayfish in many areas and the ongoing excessive commercial potting. 

The one bright light is the Minister's decision for CRA 9, between the Kaipara Harbour and Westland. It seems this is the healthiest fishery in the country and the Minister's decision ought to maintain the fishery in a healthy state for the foreseeable future. 

Read LegaSea's commentary on the Minister's decisions » (PDF)

LegaSea campaign


Once again Nathan Guy has been thrown a hospital pass by advisors formulating proposals to deny us reasonable access to our fisheries.

In 2013 it was snapper. This year it’s crayfish.

No lessons learnt. Now the Minister for Primary Industries is exposed to public criticism.

Catch limits and controls in five out of nine crayfish stocks are being reviewed.

Only one plan of five is acceptable, if the Minister applies conservative catch levels. If not, the relatively healthy west coast fishery may sink to the lows evident in other areas.


Campaign Media release 13 March 2014 »


Collapsing public catch

Divers are reporting collapsing abundance while their catches crash to almost nothing.

The most spectacular collapse is evident on the eastern coast of the North Island where the old glory holes are empty.

At its rawest edge we, the public, are being denied access to crayfish, just to prop up commercial catch at levels that are destroying the stock. On the northeast coast commercial pot lifts have rocketed to 530,000, the most in 20 years!

This year the Minister is advised to just fiddle at the margin and allow the stock to languish below levels that allow us the public a reasonable chance to catch our allowance.

This is not good enough.

Again we highlight another flawed process and give you the opportunity to learn more.

nice crayfish catch

Crayfish submission

Non-commercial catch has plummeted in response to stock depletion in many areas.

Depletion and a raft of other issues are highlighted in this crayfish submission made to MPI on 21 February 2014.


Want more?

To find out even more, visit the NZ Sport Fishing Council website and read all about the Crayfish fishery.

Ministry proposals

On 27 January 2014 the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) advised they were reviewing sustainability measures for five out of nine crayfish stocks, specifically CRA 2, 3, 4, 7 and 9. Different measures were proposed to apply in each region. The letter from MPI has an outline and the crayfish proposal paper contains more detail.


Get in touch

LegaSea is committed to developing similar quality submissions for other important stocks. As funds increase there will be more opportunities to focus on different fisheries. LegaSea contributors are welcome to suggest fisheries that need attention. You can email us with your suggestions.

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Photo credit: Dan Godoy
Photo credit: Grant Dixon
nzsfc crayfish management records
Click on the image to go to the NZ Sport Fishing Council website.