Ngāti Hei Trust has requested a temporary closure to the eastern Coromandel scallop fishery, citing the degradation of the scallop bed in their application. After a “successful” voluntary rāhui over summer, the iwi now wish to make it official for another two years, and have vastly extended the area under the rāhui - from Opito Bay to Anarake Point in the north, to Opoutere in the south, stretching 12 nautical miles offshore, to include the islands of Repanga/Cuvier, Ahuahu/Great Mercury, Ohinau, Whakahau/Slipper and the Alderman Islands.
Please see a map of the area below.
As with many calls for rāhui, there is very little scientific evidence presented as justification. The Ngāti Hei Trust application includes the following statement: “We request the temporary closure to apply to scallops as we hear from communities along the coastline of our rohe that they have been concerned about the decline of scallop populations for years”. It also mentions the commencement of a citizen-science based scallop abundance survey.
The application also refers to the possibility of further fisheries management led by Ngāti Hei.
You have until Monday, 17 May 2021 to send in your submission. All of the information is HERE.