Central area fishing rules

Recreational fishing rules for the Central area, including closures, restrictions, and other important notices.

What you need to know

Central fishing area map
Map of Central fishing area

This area covers the lower half of the North Island.

All recreational fishing – including potting, netting and all other fishing methods – is covered by rules.

This page is a summary of daily bag and size limits and closed and restricted areas.



For more information about rules you can:

  • download the rules brochure [PDF, 486 KB]
  • get the free NZ Fishing Rules app – Apple or Android
  • send a free text to 9889 with the name of a species – for example "blue cod" or "pāua". You'll be sent legal bag and size limits for that species by return text.

You can also:

It is illegal to buy, sell or swap recreationally caught seafood

These are offences against the Fisheries Act which can result in fines up to $250,000.

Report poaching

Report poaching, suspicious, or illegal activity – call 0800 4 POACHER (0800 47 62 24) or email poacher@mpi.govt.nz.

You can help us by providing:

  • the location
  • vehicle/trailer registration number
  • boat name
  • description of the person

When reporting any suspected poaching put your personal safety first. All calls and personal details are treated as confidential.

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