18 Aug 2014

Whitebaiting season changes possible

2:52 pm on 18 August 2014

Whitebaiters on the South Island's West Coast may soon be able to enjoy the same whitebaiting season times as the rest of the country.

The season started last Friday for most the country but West Coasters have to wait until 1 September.

Conservation Minister Nick Smith has asked his department to have a fresh look at the regulations after receiving submissions on the issue from West Coast whitebaiters.

The Government was considering aligning the coast season with the rest of the country, he said.

"The most important thing for me is sustainability of the fishery, and that is I don't want to extend the season if it will in any way compromise that.

"I'll wait for that report. Obviously there cannot be a change for this season but it's something that the Government is quite open-minded about."

The differences in seasons could have arisen because of a community request, he said.