Kaikōura kaimoana ban extended

The government has extended a ban on collecting shellfish and seaweed species along the Kaikōura coastline for another nine months.

The closure was triggered by the Kaikōura earthquake in November, which lifted parts of the seabed by up to four metres, exposing thousands of pāua and other sealife to dehydration.

The current ban expires today, but the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy has extended it by another nine months.

Mr Guy said shellfish in the area had been badly affected, and juvenile pāua habitats even more so.

While the pāua industry backs the extension, it warns that some divers will lose thousands of dollars.

But Mr Guy is refusing to be drawn on compensation.

“I think it’s a little bit early to say that categorically, we need to sit down with them, we’ve had some very good initial conversations with them, to understand the magnitude and the personal impact it has had on their business.

“We’ll work closely with MPI [Ministry for Primary Industries] and MBIE [Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment] to see what we can do.

The fisheries will stay closed until November while the ministry carries out more research.

Crayfish are not included because the species was found to be faring well after the quakes.