New Zealand Red Rock Lobster
CRA2 Fishery Management and Statistical Areas
The CRA 2 fishery extends from Waipu through the Hauraki Gulf and Bay of Plenty to East Cape. The current 416.5 tonnes TAC for the fishery was set in 2014. The TAC is comprised of 140 tonnes for amateur catch, 16.5 tonnes for customary harvest and 60 tonnes for illegal removals. The current TACC is 200 tonnes – a reduction of 36 tonnes from the previous season.
The 200 tonnes TACC is distributed amongst 43 quota share owners. In 2012 there were 35 vessels reporting commercial catches. The main operating period for commercial vessels generally extends from June to January. The estimated landed value of the CRA 2 catch is $17.5 million (based on average port price paid to fishermen) and the industry sustains a number of processing and export companies in Tauranga, Whitianga, and Auckland.
Amateur catch in this fishery is estimated at 140 tonnes (MPI 2013). Potting and diving are the preferred methods, and there is a large recreational charter vessel industry catering to the sector.
Customary catch is conservatively estimated at 16.5 tonnes. Anecdotal evidence in recent seasons suggests that the actual harvest may have been much greater. Rock lobsters have cultural significance to local Maori and a large Maori population in the Bay of Plenty region ensures that rock lobster retains significant customary value.
The CRA 2 Rock Lobster Management Company Ltd (CRAMAC 2) is the representative commercial stakeholder group for this region. CRAMAC 2 has made significant investments in rock lobster research since its formation in 1995, including a comprehensive vessel logbook programme, tag and release projects, and sequences of intensive catch sampling to MFish standards and specifications.
These data continue to be collected. CRAMAC 2 has invested in and implemented an Electronic Logbook programme intended to collect fine scale commercial catch and effort data.
Stock monitoring activities for the 2013/14 season included the continuation of logbook coverage, intensive catch sampling sequences within season, and tag recapture reporting. Similar coverage is contracted forward to 2015.
© NZ Rock Lobster Industry Council Ltd