Review of the CRA2 rock lobster fishery

New Zealanders are getting involved to help rebuild the CRA2 fishery's rock lobster population. This includes MPI, customary and recreational fishers, and the fishing industry. Learn what's happening, and how you can help ensure our shared fisheries remain sustainable.

Have your say on proposed changes

MPI wants your feedback on proposed changes to the catch settings for the CRA2 (Hauraki Gulf and Bay of Plenty) rock lobster fishery.

Why we're reviewing the CRA 2 fishery

In 2013, a scientific assessment suggested CRA2 rock lobster numbers were falling. In response, commercial catch was reduced by 36% through a mix of government and industry cuts.

A new scientific assessment of CRA2 in 2017 suggested that the rock lobster stock was low. Numbers were below the threshold where we require a plan to rebuild the stock.

Proposals to rebuild CRA2 stock

A range of options are being proposed for the start of the April 2018 fishing year, including reductions in the:

  • Total Allowable Catch (TAC)
  • recreational and other mortality allowances
  • Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC).
Proposed options (in tonnes) for CRA2







Other mortality

Status quo





















For each option, the National Rock Lobster Management Group also recommends you consider an alternative recreational allowance of 34 tonnes (instead of 50 tonnes) when providing your submission.

Make your submission by 9 February 2018

Check our fisheries sustainability measures consultation page for:

  • details of the consultation process
  • copies of the discussion papers.

About the CRA 2 fishery

Map of the CRA2 fishery

The CRA2 rock lobster fishery covers a large stretch of New Zealand's coastline. It's close to Auckland — New Zealand's biggest population centre — and supports a lot of recreational lobster harvesting. It's also an important fishery for tangata whenua and commercial fishers.



2017 scientific assessment

A new scientific assessment of the CRA2 fishery was completed on 30 October 2017. The assessment results suggest the amount of rock lobster in the CRA2 fishery has probably dropped below its soft limit. When a stock drops below its soft limit level, management action is required to ensure it rebuilds.

The assessment results help guide a review of management of the CRA2 fishery. Given its importance, we all have a role in helping to rebuild the fishery. Decisive action will be needed to ensure that the abundance of rock lobsters increases. 

Find out more

We've prepared a summary document for the CRA2 stock assessment that includes information on:

  • reference levels
  • the soft and hard limits for the CRA2 rock lobsters
  • how the CRA2 rock lobster stocks have changed in size since 1980.

Download the stock assessment summary [PDF, 539 KB]

Proposed changes in 2018

Proposed changes to help rebuild the CRA2 rock lobster fishery include:

  • reductions in catch limits for the April 2018 fishing year
  • a broader range of management measures (such as closed seasons and reduced daily bag limit) for later in 2018.

We will engage widely with the community on the development of these options, and will carry out full consultation prior to any decisions being made.

Stay informed

To keep up-to-date on our progress with the CRA2 fishery review and consultation, check this page for changes, or:

Flowchart with dates for CRA2 meetings with public and experts, between Nov 2017 and June 2018, to guide CRA2 changes.

Review of CRA2 Fishery

The image provides a timeline of the public consultation process and review of the CRA 2 fishery, showing how you can get involved.

CRA2 review stages are in chronological order:

November 2017 – Multisector Workshop 1

  • Develop vision for the fishery.
  • Consider new research.
  • Feedback on catch setting for April 2018.

November to December 2017 – National Rock Lobster Management Group

  • Develop options for new catch settings.

Timeline splits into 2 paths.

Path 1

January to February 2018 – Wider engagement 1a

  • Public consultation on the new catch options.

April 2018 – National Rock Lobster Management Group

  • Consider submissions on catch options.
  • Develop final advice.

April 2018 – New catch settings in force.

Path 2

January to February 2018 – Wider engagement 1b

  • Engagement through first online survey and face-to face meetings.
  • Feedback on future management ideas.

March 2018 – Multisector Workshop 2

  • Consider wider feedback and refine options for future management.

May 2018 – Wider Engagement 2

  • Engagement through second online survey and face-to face meetings.
  • Public can give feedback on draft management options. 

June 2018 and beyond – National Rock Lobster Management Group

  • Consider wider feedback.
  • Develop options to progress to formal consultation.

Potential change to fishery

  • Any approved changes will be implemented.
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Who to contact

If you have questions about the CRA2 review, email

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