New limits on the way for Southern Bluefin

The success of anglers in the Eastern Bay of Plenty has prompted the Ministry of Primary Industries to set bag limits for southern bluefin tuna.

Up till 2014 few of the species were caught, but catches steadily rose reaching more than 24 tonnes of the fish last year.

The Ministry notes that social media posts, good catch rates and favourable weather - attracted hundreds of anglers to the Eastern Bay of Plenty to target southern bluefin tuna.

They began a survey at the Waihau Bay boat ramp and found that from June to August last year - 676 recreational boats, carrying 1856 fishers, targeted southern bluefin tuna.

Concerned that such catch rates could contravene international regulations, the ministry has now set a bag limit of one southern bluefin per angler per day, taking effect from June.

Sam Gardner