08 September 2016

Environment Commissioner congratulates Minister on strong decision for longfin eels

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has congratulated the Minister for Primary Industries, Hon Nathan Guy, on his decision to make big reductions in the catch limits for longfin eels in the South Island. 

“It’s great to see the Minister making this very positive move towards ensuring the long-term sustainability of the longfin eel,” said Dr Jan Wright. 

New catch limits announced by the Minister today effectively amount to a suspension of commercial fishing for longfins in four of the six management areas in the South Island, and a reduction of the allowable catch in the remaining two. 

“The longfin eel is the largest and longest-lived freshwater eel in the world. It is imperative we do all we can to protect this wonderful but vulnerable creature,” said Dr Wright. “I am very heartened by this latest development.” 

Dr Wright notes that fishing is not the only pressure on New Zealand’s top freshwater predator. Loss of habitat and barriers to movement down-stream are also important issues that require more attention.

The Commissioner’s 2013 report, On a pathway to extinction: An investigation into the status and management of the longfin eel, is available here

For more information contact Dan Ormond on 027 251 9849.