Waikato River Fisheries Bylaw 6
Prohibition on taking of female migrant longfin eels.
No commercial fisher may take or possess any female longfin eel taken within the Waikato-Tainui Fisheries Area that is in the migratory morphological phase.
- Improve recruitment to the eel fishery
- To increase the number of longfin eels able to migrate and spawn
This bylaw will ensure that any female longfin eel showing morphological signs of migration would have a level of protection and be provided with every opportunity to make it to the ocean.
This bylaw is consistent with the Waikato-Tainui Environment Plan in particular objective 2 and policy 4 – taonga species are protected, restored, enhanced and managed, consistent with the tikanga, kawa and matauranga of Waikato-Tainui in order to give effect to the exercise of mana Whakahaere.
The intent of this bylaw is to ensure that female longfin eels that reach the spawning phase cannot be harvested. These migrant longfin eels if allowed to breed will eventually improve recruitment to the longfin eel fishery. This is important for the endangered endemic longfin eel.
The Trust has deliberately chosen to not permanently close large areas to commercial eel fishing. This is to ensure that commercial eel fishing is not unduly affected and to ensure there is no increased fishing pressure outside of a closed area.