It is not necessary to take out a licence for marine species. Netting and fishing with lines are popular throughout New Zealand. More recently, particularly in the North Island, surf casting and skin diving have become popular; many fish such as snapper, kahawai, marlin, sharks, etc., are taken by these methods. Size limits and, in some cases, amateur catch limits apply, as the same species are also caught for sale by licensed fishermen.
Big game fishing is a major sport, with hire launches operating from many ports, such as Bay of Islands, Whangarei, Tauranga, Mayor Island, etc., during the season November to June. Striped marlin and mako shark are the principal species taken, other species including black and blue marlin, various tuna, and sharks. About 60 per cent of the fish are captured from boats operating from Bay of Islands and Tauranga areas.
The following table sets out the catches for the 1959–63 seasons:
|Big Game Fishing|
Catches of big game fish increased spectacularly in 1961, when about double the earlier catches were taken. World big game fishing contests have been held in New Zealand waters, the most recent being in 1960.
by Brian Turnbull Cunningham, B.SC., Senior Fishery Officer, Marine Department, Wellington.