Written by Maja Burry
Whitebaiters could face catch limits, tougher enforcement and fishing permits amid concern over the future of the native species.
Regulations around whitebaiting have not changed since the mid-1990s, despite four out of the five whitebait species having ‘threatened’ status.
The Conservation Authority, which provides strategic policy advice to the Department of Conservation (DOC), has asked the department to consider what could be done to protect the species.
Chair Warren Parker said the authority had received feedback from the public and conservation boards that more needed to be done to protect the fish.
“The Conservation Authority was aware that there were concerns about the sustainability of current whitebait catches and there was a lack of information about the size of catches and what was happening in the rivers,” Dr Parker said.
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