The commercial fishing industry will again support the closure of 237 square kilometres of ocean off Hawke’s Bay this summer.

The voluntary measure agreed between Napier Fishermen’s Association and LegaSea Hawke’s Bay is supported by Fisheries Inshore New Zealand (FINZ).

The area, known as Springs Box, is due east of Napier Port and to the north of Cape Kidnappers. 

It has been closed to commercial fishing each year since the summer of 2015/16 in order to improve the recreational fishing experience and is an initiative that continues to be supported.

Positive collaboration between local recreational and commercial bodies continues to support positive relations between both sectors. 

Fisheries Inshore New Zealand chief executive, Jeremy Helson said: “We are committed to working with recreational fishers in this shared fishery. This local initiative is an excellent example of the compromise and collaboration possible between competing sectors.”

The closure will apply to all commercial fishing, with the exemption of fishers trolling for tuna, for the period 1 December 2019 to 28 February 2020.