[11 February/Radio NZ]

An environmental group is arguing for a ban on commercial crayfishing in the Hauraki Gulf and Bay of Plenty. A recent proposal to halve the quota in these areas will be considered by the Ministry for Primary Industries in April. Over the past 60 years, stocks have dropped up to 95 percent in some areas, according to the Environmental Defence Society. Its executive, Gary Taylor, added that the government did not have an actual idea of fish stocks which was a major problem. The Head of the Rock Lobster Industry Council, Mark Edwards, said that a total ban Is unnecessary and would have severe socio-economic impacts.