1 May 2020

Ata marie whānau. Please read the very important panui below from the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) regarding shellfish on our beaches. Please share with whānau and keep safe during this time.

Prior to the COVID 19 Level 4 lockdown, shellfish from the area between Hokio Beach and Waitarere Beach were affected by a significant shellfish die off.

The District Council posted a warning against collecting and eating shellfish from this area or any shellfish that may be washed up outside this area. If the shellfish are carrying an infection cooking does not make it safe to eat.

We have contacted the Horowhenua District Council who has confirmed that the warning is still in place and that shellfish harvesting should still be avoided in the area. Shellfish and dead seabirds from the area have been taken for testing, but due to the COVID lockdown test results are not yet available. Until it is known what may have caused the die off, taking shellfish in this area should continue to be avoided.

Last week we advised that with the shift today to Alert Level 3 the Ministry of Health had set out new lockdown provisions that would allow some customary and non-commercial fishing to occur, provided physical distancing rules continued to be met. To confirm these provisions, under Alert Level 3, non-commercial fishing can be undertaken using hand-gathering methods in shallow water or line-fishing from shore only. The most important principals here are to:
stay close to home and stay in your bubble
stay two metres away from people not in your bubble
not do activity that could get you hurt and require medical care, or rescuing (putting essential workers at risk). This means people should not be fishing from rocks where doing so would put them in danger.

Under COVID-19 Level 3, whānau may undertake customary fishing using hand-gathering methods in shallow water or line-fishing from the shore only. As with Level 4, Tāngata Tiaki can also work with their local commercial fishing operations and MPI Fishery Officers to explore ways of getting kaimoana to those who really need it.

MPI is working with Ministry of Health and other government agencies to determine the impacts of the remaining COVID-19 Alert Levels on customary fishing activities and we will update you on that as soon as we can. In the meantime, stay local and stay safe.

For more information, please visit www.mpi.govt.nz/protection-and-response/coronavirus/

If you need more information please call me on 022 046 8955

Ma te atua hei manāki hei Tiaki koutou katoa,

Terry Lynch | Principal Advisor, Customary Fisheries
Fisheries Management | Fisheries New Zealand – Tini a Tangaroa
Ministry for Primary Industries – Manatū Ahu Matua | Pastoral House 25 The Terrace | PO Box 2526 | Wellington 6140 | New Zealand
Telephone: 04 8194638 Web: www.mpi.govt.nz

<p>Find information about COVID-19 and the primary sector.</p>
<p>Find information about COVID-19 and the primary sector.</p>