Myth Busting: How the CRA 2 Commercial Fishery Actually Operates  

Crayfish are one of NZ’s most sought-after marine species, and it’s not hard to see why – they’re damn delicious! Unfortunately, whenever a high-value resource is at stake, plenty of scepticism and misinformation from competing sectors is usually not far away. 

This is the case in CRA 2 – the rock lobster fishery that extends from Te Arai in the north, through the Hauraki Gulf and the Bay of Plenty, to East Cape in the south. The area covers a substantial proportion of NZ’s recreational fishing population, including Auckland, Tauranga, and holiday hotspots such as the Coromandel. Commercial catch allowances in CRA 2 are, on average, half that of other management areas around NZ.  

----- Advertisement -----

With plenty of talk around this fishery over the last few years, it’s a fitting time to dispel a few myths about how the CRA 2 commercial fishing sector actually operates.  

Myth 1 – Crayfish quota is monopolised by the big fishing corporates 

Although quota is owned and monopolised by big companies for certain fish stocks in NZ, this is not the case in CRA 2. There are 47 different CRA 2 quota share owners – many of whom are multi-generational fishing families – and the most significant quota shares are owned by Iwi organisations (37% collectively).

Myth 2 – Commercial fishers have gear in the water year-round 

Currently, only 11 fishing vessels are in CRA 2, spread throughout the large area from the north of Auckland down to East Cape. Although some camps think CRA 2 fishers have their gear in the water 365 days a year, the reality is that most operators fish intermittently for a two-four month period over the year.   

Myth 3 – Commercial manipulation is the reason why crays are so expensive to buy domestically 

Like all other produce vendors, the decision regarding whether crayfish are sold domestically or exported is purely economic. In fact, crays can be sold cheaper to domestic consumers because international air freight and packaging expenses are currently around $15/kg.  

----- Advertisement -----

As a luxury food item with constrained catch limits, some New Zealand consumers will always consider crayfish expensive.

Myth 4 – The commercial sector doesn’t care about the fishery 

CRA 2 is one of the few fisheries where the commercial sector has front-footed management measures, voluntarily reducing their catch in 2016 and 2017 to rebuild crayfish numbers. Why did they do this? Well, it’s because CRA 2 fishers rely on sustainable catches for their livelihoods and, in cases of multigenerational fishing families, their children’s livelihoods.  

The CRA 2 industry has also invested heavily in research to collect the fishery data to set sustainable catch limits, and commercial fishers support best-practice fishing methods such as new pot designs to limit undersized catch and rotational fishing to spread catches over larger areas.

- CRA 2 Management Company




Rate this


Post a Comment

Required Field

Recent Posts Visit Forum

30 Active Users online, 30 Guest(s), 0 Member(s)
in The Briny Bar
7 hours ago
Fish Addict

Yes indeed, what a great charity....

Barrel Smoker
in The Kitchen - Seafood Recipes
8 hours ago

I use plum for smoking and it gives a good result. I have a ute load of pohutakawa for next year. I don't take the bark...

Season that was..
in The Work-Up
10 hours ago

We had the Mahi on salt ice, but caught 2 on day one, (some gave away but kept few fillets) and caught another 4  on day...

in Freshwater Fishing reports
12 hours ago

Good stuff as ever Redfinger ...

Hutchwilco Boat Show
in The Briny Bar
17 hours ago
Phantom Menace

Yep, agreed.  I went through the boat buying process a couple of years ago and the add-ons do add up!  Although one thing I will say about...

Fishing Reports, News & Specials

Popular Articles

Softbait Fishing - Part 1 - gear selection

John Eichlesheim writes an article about selecting the right equipment for softbait fishing... Read More >

Softbait fishing Pt 2 - tips and tricks

Techniques, tips and tricks of softbait fishing – getting the most from your soft baits.... Read More >

Surfcasting - setting yourself up

Gary Kemsley helps sort out the necessary gear for intending surf fishers.... Read More >

Squid - How to catch them

Squid fishing is a rapidly growing aspect of fishing - Paul Senior shares some hints and tips to get started.... Read More >

Fishing Reports Visit Reports

Canterbury Fishing Report - 18/05/23

Sounds Snapper Starting to Fire Saltwater:   I mentioned the outer Marlborough Sounds/D’Urville Island area... Read More >

'Top of the South' Fishing Report - 18/05/23

Snapper on the move to deeper water  Despite another weather bomb recently hitting the top... Read More >

Hauraki Gulf - Bruce Duncan Fishing Report - 17/05/23

Straylining has been producing the goods For the first time I can recall for two... Read More >

Raglan Fishing Report - 17/05/23

Hungry snapper still out there to be found  The fishing is still (for the most... Read More >