19 Sep 2013

Most Maori hurt by new snapper rules, says council

6:55 am on 19 September 2013

About 90% of Maori will be affected by the new snapper rules, the Recreational Fishing Council says.

From next April, the daily bag limit will be cut from nine to seven snapper a day and the minimum size will increase 3cm to 30cm. The changes affect East Northland, the Hauraki Gulf and the Bay of Plenty.

Recreational Fishing Council board member Kevin Moratti says while the new rules won't affect customary rights holders, most Maori fish just like anyone else.

Figures coming from prominent iwi show that when they're fishing, 94% of Maori are catching for sustenance or recreation, under recreational regulations, he says.

Far North iwi Ngati Kahu is refusing to abide by Government cuts to the snapper quota, saying it can manage its own fisheries.

Te Runanga a Iwi o Ngati Kahu chair Margaret Mutu says anything that interferes with its mana moana is not legitimate.

The iwi always make sure fish stocks are sufficient to look after its people, and have issued rahui, or fishing bans, when commercial fishers have depleted stocks, she says.