Kaikōura kaimoana ban could continue

Primary industry officials want to extend a ban on collecting shellfish and seaweed species along the Kaikōura coastline for another nine months.

The ban, which no longer includes crayfish, has been in place since the earthquake lifted the seabed along parts of the coastline, exposing sealife to dehydration.

Ministry for Primary Industries fisheries management director Dave Turner said ministry research found that while crayfish were faring well, there were worrying signs for other species such as pāua, kina and seaweed.

“At this stage we’re looking at closing for a further period. Over that time we will have had time to complete all of our science, and understand how long it will take to recover those fish stocks.”

The current closure was due to expire in February, but the ministry wanted to extend the ban to November, Mr Turner said.

The ministry would seek public feedback on the proposal.