Peak summer time fishing for blue cod in the Marlborough Sounds would be banned under a plan set up to address dwindling stocks.
The popular fishery looks set to re-open early next year, but with strict limits.
The area was closed to blue cod fishing in October 2008 after surveys found the fishery was in serious decline.
The Marlborough Sounds blue cod management group was set up to find ways to protect and enhance stocks of the fish.
It recommends that the fishery re-open in April next year and that the maximum daily catch would be two blue cod, with a boat limit of 10.
The restricted area would be expanded to include all of D'Urville Island and The Brothers.
The most contentious proposal is to restrict cod fishing to between February and the end of August - a move recreational fishers say they will strongly oppose.
Public submissions on the plan close on 4 October.