(edited ver.1) From the outset, the Guardians have strived to maintain and improve the quality of Fiordland’s fisheries for future generations to use and enjoy. This vision led to the closure of the internal waters of Doubtful Sound and Piopiotahi/Milford Sound to blue cod fishing in 2005. The Guardians recommended the closures due to evidence that the fisheries in these areas were in a poor state. The closures were temporary, meaning that they would be assessed periodically to see if there was evidence that the fisheries could be reopened in a sustainable manner.
Following a recent review, the Guardians made a recommendation to the Minister for Primary Industries that Doubtful Sound be reopened and a cautious approach adopted in the allowable daily bag limit. This recommendation was made following careful consideration of monitoring data, and anecdotal evidence that fishing pressure was being displaced, causing pressure on stocks in Thompson and Bradshaw Sounds. There is no evidence that Piopiotahi/Milford Sound could support even the smallest of bag limits at this time, and so the Guardians recommended that this fishery remain closed for the time being.
The Guardians are pleased that the Honourable Nathan Guy, Minister for Primary Industries, accepted our recommendations. The opening of Doubtful Sound for recreational blue cod fishing changes the daily limits in the Doubtful, Bradshaw and Thompson Sound complex. From the 20th of December 2015 recreational fishers will be permitted to catch ONE blue cod per person per day in the internal waters of these fiords with no accumulation.
See the Ministry for Primary Industry's Travel and Recreation Fishing Rules
webpages for further information.
Whilst the new daily limit has been conservative, the Guardians will continue to monitor the fishery so that sound advice can be provided to the Minister.
We need your help!
In order to monitor the impacts of the reopening of this fishery whilst promoting our “fish for a feed” policy, the Guardians are commencing monitoring of fishing activity in Doubtful Sound. We aim to base future recommendations on the best possible information, which we will be collecting from all fishing sectors in a variety of ways.
We encourage all those fishing in Doubtful, Bradshaw, and Thompson Sounds to participate in information gathering on blue cod stock levels by completing our attached fishing diary.
If you are planning multiple days’ fishing in Doubtful Sound, please make copies of the Blue Cod Recreational Fishing Diary and take them with you to complete.
This initiative is being driven solely by the Guardians in an attempt to help gather as much information as possible about the state of the blue cod fishery in this area. Please help us to make informed choices about your fishery.
We welcome your feedback – please feel free to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org