Kūtai - Mussel bed closure Te Puna Mataitai

Fisheries New Zealand Maori Crest White textThe Minister of Fisheries has approved a bylaw that prohibits the take or possession of three types of mussel: green lipped, black, and blue mussels from within the Te Puna Mātaitai area - effective 23rd March 2020 for three years.

This decision follows consultation after tangata tiaki/kaitiaki saw a decline in mussel populations in the last few years. This new bylaw aims to help restore the mussel beds and ensure the sustainability of the sacred kūtai population.

Download the Te Puna mātaitai boundaries here

Download the gazetted bylaw here

Commercial fishing regulations in the Bay of Islands

teamworkPhoto: Dean Wright

For many years there has been a variety of restrictions on commercial fishing in the Bay of Islands. The maps below indicate the main areas and seasons closed to commercial fishing.

All boundaries drawn are indicative only - please refer government legislation for exact details.[/badge]
To find legislation governing commercial fishing visit: http://www.legislation.govt.nz

Download DoC's area based restrictions brochure here (see pgs 38-43)

No fishing in Maunganui Bay (Deep Water Cove)

rahui location aerialThe rahui has been extended for a further two years until 13th October 2022

Fishing (except for gathering kina) within Maunganui Bay / Deep Water Cove is against the law. This area has been closed since 2010.

It is closed under section 186A of the Fisheries Act 1996 until 13th October 2022. You can not take any species of fish, aquatic life, or seaweed, except for kina.

Fines up to a maximum of $100,000 apply for breaching the regulations.

Bay of Islands Marine Mammal Sanctuary

Bottlenose dolphin feedingPhoto: Cat Peters

New rules effective 15th December 2021

The sanctuary has three key restrictions for users of the Bay of Islands:

  • No one is allowed in the water within 300 m of a marine mammal.
  • No vessel to approach within 300 m of marine mammals – if your vessel breaches the 300 m rule for a marine mammal you must stop. You must remain stopped until any marine mammals are at least 300 m away.
  • You must travel 5 knots or less at all times while within the marine mammal safe zones.

Te Puna mātaitai

te puna mataitai 2Ngā Hapū o Taiamai ki Te Marangai have established the 20 sq km Te Puna mātaitai within their rohe moana area in the western Bay of Islands (area chart below).

  • Tangata whenua are authorised by the Minister of Fisheries under s.23 of the Kaimoana Customary Fishing Regulations 1998 to manage and control the non-commercial harvest of seafood through a local committee.
  • Mātaitai reserves are permanent, though the bylaws can change over time.
  • No commercial fishing is allowed within the area (unless recommended by the committee)
  • The kaitiaki can set bylaws to manage the fishing in the area.
  • Both Maori and non-Maori may fish in mātaitai reserves.

Download the Te Puna mātaitai boundaries boundaries here 

Mātaitai reserves are created in areas of traditional importance to Maori for customary food gathering.

Boaties, check you know the Bay of Islands discharge rules!

marine toiletIn our harbours, untreated sewage can contaminate the shellfish we eat or make water unsafe for swimming for a long time after it's discharged.

Dispose of your boat sewage properly. No discharging untreated sewage in the dark blue areas highlighted on the map below!

  • Within all Northland harbours and the Bay of Islands
  • Less than 500 m from the high-tide mark
  • Less than 500 m from a marine farm
  • Less than 200 m from a marine reserve

Alternatively, pump it out at a marina pumping facility.

Join Fish Forever

nudi spongeAll of us with an interest and love of Tangaroa, let's work together and take on the challenge of marine protection for the Bay.

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Student/concession - $15.00
Affiliate (please name organistation) - $15.00
Individual - $25.00
Family - $35.00

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