Simple actions we can all take to conserve fish stocks
Let's put the big ones back
Taking big snapper and big crayfish out of an area lets kina run rampant. Ever seen a kina barren?
Putting the big snapper and big crayfish back is one thing we can do to keep our shallow reefs healthy.
- Big snapper and big crayfish deal to kina, keeping their population in check. Smaller snapper and crays can't do that job.
- When these big predators are removed from an area, kina numbers explode.
- Kina eat kelp.
- Left unchecked, kina munch through kelp forests, sometimes as deep as 8 m, leaving bare rock - kina barrens
- Kelp forests are the nurseries of the sea. When they are gone vital habitat for food, for cover and breeding is lost.
One big fish a day
Catching kingfish, hapuka or bass?
How about limiting our take home catch to just one big fish in total per angler per day?
Leave our scallop dredges in the garage
Snorkel for scallops, tank dive if we must, but please let's leave our dredges in the garage. It's not a good method of fishing for these guys.
Release em' carefully
We throw back a lot of undersized fish nowadays. Handling and releasing them carefully increases their chances of surviving to be big!
MPI put out a great brochure on best-practice. Hit the download button below...
- Remove fish from the water only if you have to
- Wear cotton or rubber gloves or at least wet your hands
- Lie fish on a soft wet surface if you need to handle them out of the water
- Change to a larger hook size if you are catching a lot of undersized fish
- Minimise the time fish are out of the water
- Remove the hook carefully from mouth-hooked fish
- Cut the line for gut-hooked fish
- Return fish gently to the sea
Fishing in deep water?
Fishing in shallower water enables release with less harm to the fish.
"Depth of capture was by far the most important factor affecting release mortality. Mortality increased from an average of 3.42% of fish caught in the shallows (5, 15 and 30 m) to 69.0% of fish from the deeper waters (45 and 65m)."
Take enough to feed our whanau
Let's feed our whanau, not our whole neighbourhood!
And if you don't want the heads - give them away on this site: https://www.freefishheads.co.nz/