NIWA counting fish in Marlborough Sounds
Recreational fishers in the Marlborough Sounds, Tasman and Golden Bays are being approached at boat ramps in the region
in the hope they will provide information on their catches for a research survey.
NIWA is undertaking this survey for the Ministry for Primary Industries to find out how many fish are being caught by
Marine ecologist Niki Davey said the purpose of the survey, which began on September 1, is to estimate recreational
catches of commonly caught fish such as snapper and blue cod – the first of its kind in the area since 2005.
“It is important we get up-to-date, accurate information to enable fisheries managers to make decisions on the best data
The researchers have selected 54 days at random over the next 12 months on which to conduct the surveys which will
happen at eight boat ramps. They are the ramps at Tarakohe, Nelson, Okiwi Bay, Havelock, Picton, Waikawa Public, Waikawa
Marina Ramp, and Waikawa Marina.
Fishers returning from the water will be asked by interviewers if they can measure their catch, when and where they’ve
been fishing and which methods they used.
An aerial survey will also be carried out at midday on the same survey days, to provide a snapshot of the number of
boats fishing in all areas of the Marlborough Sounds and Golden and Tasman Bays. The information is then combined with
the interview data collected throughout the day, to provide estimates of the harvest of commonly caught fish stocks.
Ms Davey stressed the interviews are voluntary but said the more information the researchers get, the better data is
available to fisheries managers.
“Fishery managers need to understand any changes and trends , over time. This is incredibly important information and
we appreciate everyone’s cooperation.”