Review of the CRA2 rock lobster fishery

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New Zealanders are getting involved to help rebuild the CRA2 fishery's rock lobster population. This includes MPI, customary and recreational fishers, and the fishing industry. Learn what's happening, and how you can help ensure our shared fisheries remain sustainable.


The CRA2 fishery covers a large stretch of New Zealand's coastline. It's close to Auckland — New Zealand's biggest population centre — and supports a lot of recreational lobster harvesting. It's also an important fishery for tangata whenua and commercial fishers.

A scientific assessment of CRA2 in 2013 suggested that the rock lobster stock was below the agreed target level but was not at risk of collapsing.

Catch limits were set to rebuild the fishery

  • The Minister for Primary Industries reduced the commercial catch limit by 36 tonnes (from 236 to 200 tonnes) from April 2014 to help rebuild lobster numbers.
  • The CRA2 industry then volunteered to further cut their commercial catch limit to support a rebuild. For 2016 and 2017, the voluntary commercial catch limit was set at 150 tonnes (down from 200 tonnes).

Why are we reviewing the CRA2 fishery?

Even though catch limits have been reduced, fishers are still telling us there aren't enough lobsters. This is especially a problem in areas of the fishery that are under more intense pressure from harvesting. These areas include popular holiday destinations, like Tauranga and the Coromandel Peninsula. Because of the harvesting pressure the CRA2 fishery is under, we want to find solutions and achieve the best balance between what's right for fishers and what's right for the lobsters.

A full scientific review will be out soon

This new research will tell us how the rock lobster population has changed since the commercial catch limit was cut in 2014. It'll also show us what might happen to the population if we continue with our current management methods, or what might happen if we try different solutions. The research will be available in early November 2017.

Consultation planned

After the new research becomes available, we'll ask for your feedback on managing the CRA2 fishery. Workshops involving different sectors will be held from November 2017 and wider public consultation will begin in January 2018. New information that we get from the consultation and community feedback will:

  • help us to set suitable catch limits
  • guide implementation of any new management measures.

Stay informed

To keep up-to-date on our progress with the CRA2 fishery review and upcoming consultation, check this page for changes, or:

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