The amount of fish caught by our local fishermen is managed under the New Zealand Quota Management System. With help from respected marine scientists, the New Zealand Government sets restrictions on the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) that can be made anually, making it easier than ever for us to look after our ocean and ensure that our fish come from sustainable stocks.
Our fishermen are equipped with the latest sonar equipment so they know exactly what grounds they’re fishing in and what species of fish are in a certain area at any given time. This means we always catch the right fish and avoid any ‘bycatch’ i.e. fish we don’t need. Here’s how we go about it…
To catch Chatham Island Blue Cod, we use large pots that are hand-thrown into the ocean. The pots sit on the bottom for around 30 minutes at a time and the cod are slowly lured in with bait. Once they’re inside they can swim around freely, so stress is greatly reduced. To stop us catching any undersized fish, the pots are constructed using a large mesh material, allowing undersized fish to swim free.
To catch Hapuka, we pinpoint their exact location and attach drop lines to buoys floating on the surface. We only have the rods in the water for a short period of time and bycatch is avoided where possible.