Paua fishery closed for two years to allow population recovery

West Coast iwi are "very, very" relieved the Government has closed the paua fishery at Jackson Bay for two years to allow it to recover after almost being fished to exhaustion last summer.

The rahui, or closure, has been officially gazette and is effective from yesterday through to November 2023.

It covers the coastal zone from Neils Beach to Homminy Cove, just south of Jackson Bay.

Ngati Mahaki proposed the paua closure, along with four mataitai fishing reserves south of Paringa, in response to recreational fishing pressure last summer that saw up to 100 SUVs towing boats make their way over the Haast Pass at weekends.

Te Runanga o Makaawhio kaumatua and retired Jackson Bay fisher Helen Rasmussen said yesterday she was pleased, but also relieved that the Ministry of Primary Industries had approved their application.

After the intention was revealed, the remaining paua came under even more pressure as people tried to get in before the closure, she said.

Meanwhile, submissions closed Tuesday on an application for the four South Westland mataitai and a fifth one at Mikonui, Ross.

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