Who is catching what? A survey of fishing effort and success on Akaroa taiapure and Te Whaka a Te Wera mataitai management areas

Funding Body University of Canterbury (Main grant: Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu)
Total Contract Value $116,878
Start Date December 2007
End Date June 2009
Principal Investigator

Henrik Moller

Staff Involved Henrik Moller and temporary research assistants (Mykala Dyer, Julian Moller, Hireke Phillips-Zygadlo, Emma Shaw)

Brief Abstract

A survey methodology was developed and trialled within the Akaroa Taiapure and Te Whaka a Te Wera Mataitai (Rakiura) in 2007/09 to allow Kaitiaki to measure (i) recreational and customary fishing activity, (ii) an index of fish stock levels, (iii) degree of compliance with fisheries regulations, (iv) awareness and effectiveness of local bylaws, and (v) a population profile (ethnicity, age, gender, residency and experience) of people fishing in the reserves.

The main measures measured included:

  • The number and weight of different fish species being harvested
  • Gear used for fishing
  • Main areas targeted for fish
  • Catch per unit effort as an index of stock abundance
  • Bycatch and number and type of fish released alive
  • Proportion of times that catch limit bylaws are reached
  • Awareness of the purposes and regulations/bylaws of the taiapure and mataitai
  • Levels of compliance with regulations/bylaws
  • Levels of surveillance of fishing activity
  • Fishers’ perceptions of
  • satisfaction with current stock
  • trends in abundance and catch success of fish species and in the environment of the reserves
  • threats to the ecology and management of the reserves
  • optimal management interventions

Once repeated at 3-5 year intervals the surveys can access trends in stock levels and user profiles to guide the kaitiaki on sustainability and the need or otherwise to intervene with local regulations and bylaws. At Akaroa, where the taiapure has just recently been established, the survey gives a baseline for later ‘Before-After’ comparisons to estimate the effectiveness of regulations.