Set netting – what you need to know before you go

Set netting – what you need to know before you go

[Music] Richard: I’m here to try out set netting for the first time. Now a mate of mine got fined a couple a hundred bucks last summer, so I don’t want to get it wrong. I’ve had a look at the MPI fishing rules
website, and there are lots of rules, but I think I’ve got it right. But I’ve spotted a couple of Fisheries Officers over there, so I’m going to go and check with them. Hey mate! I’m Richard. Renee: Kia ora Richard. I’m Renee, this is Cameron. Richard: Hey mate. Cameron: Kia ora Richard. You about to head out? Richard: Yeah, I’m just trying set netting for the first time, but I’m not really sure of the rules, I was wondering if you guys could take me through the things I need to know? Renee: Yeah sure, we can help you with that. It’s really important you know the rules before you get started. Cameron: There are a few rules about set netting that people aren’t aware of. Richard: Yeah I guess a lot of people learn
how to set net from friends and family, so it’s not always the right info being passed
down? Renee: Yeah, that happens quite a bit. Richard: But if you don’t know the rules
then it’s not your fault, right? Renee: Sorry Richard, Just because you don’t know the rules doesn’t mean you can’t get fined for breaking them. Cameron: And besides, the rules are there to protect the kaimoana. Richard: So, knowing the rules protects the fish? Renee: Yes that’s right. Using set nets properly avoids fish wastage and unwanted bycatch. Cameron: It also helps you to hold onto your net, and to avoid a fine. Richard: Sounds alright to me. Well shall we go and have a look? So, I’ve got all my gear here. Renee: Oh OK, well look, first off, you can’t use stakes or poles to hold your net. So let’s take those out of the boat. Can I have a look at your floats? Richard: Sure. Cameron: Yep, those are good. You need to use proper floats and anchors when you’re deploying your set net. They need to be able to hold in position and withstand the conditions. Richard: Great. Renee: Set nets need to have surface floats attached to each end of the net, and you need to have the fishers surname and initial marked on it. Cameron: It’s also important to mark your floats with your telephone number just in case there’s a problem with the net and fishery officers like us need to get in contact with you. It’d be also a good idea to re-mark your
floats before you head out again today. Richard: OK. Cameron: Well let’s have a look at your net Richard. Set nets need to be 60 meters or less, and drag nets need to be 40 meters or less. Richard: OK, well this one’s 60 meters. Cameron: Great.
Renee: Perfect.
Richard: Awesome. Renee: There’s also minimum mesh sizes for nets. It varies depending on what you’re
trying to catch and what region you’re fishing in. Before you go fishing you should check the regulations for your region and make sure you have the right mesh size for the fish you want to catch. So if you’re fishing in Wellington and you
want to catch blue cod, which needs a minimum mesh size of 100mm, and blue moki, which needs a minimum mesh size of 114mm, you should use a net with 114mm mesh or bigger. You should also think about the other fish that you might catch and make sure that you’re using a net with a big enough mesh size for them too. That way all of the fish that you catch should be bigger than the size restrictions. This helps reduce fish wastage and means that you can take home all of your catch. You want all the little ones to swim right though and you want to catch the big ones. Basically, the bigger the mesh, the bigger the kaimoana! Richard: Well that makes sense. So how do I measure my mesh size? Renee: Let me show you. So, a set net will have a square mesh like that, and we don’t measure across the square, we measure across two of the opposing knots on the mesh. So we place our ruler on the inside of one of the knots, pull the mesh tight, and what can you read there Richard? Richard: About 165. Renee: 165. Richard: Cool so I’m good to go? Renee: Yeah you’re good to go its perfect. You know you can use this set net to catch tarakihi, kahawai, blue cod, butterfish, snapper, because it’s larger than the minimum net mesh size that’s actually required. Perfect. Ricgard: Nice! OK so the next step’s baiting right? What’s the best one to use? Renee: You’re not allowed to bait a set net, set nets are only to be used as they are set in the water. Cameron: So where do you want to set your net? Richard: Well, I know I’m not allowed to set nets in marine reserves, or marine mammal sanctuaries or in set net banned areas. Renee: That’s correct. Also, you can’t set set nets in areas that are protected under the Conservation Act. Richard: Right, and I know I can’t stall
nets. Renee: True. Nets must not be used in such a way the fish become stranded due to the falling tide. Richard: Well I was thinking of over there, but now there’s someone else kind of nearby. Renee: Yeah, you don’t want to be too close to somebody else. Because nets must be more than 60 meters apart from any other set net. Also, no net can be set more than a quarter of the way across the width of any river, stream, channel, bay, sound or waterway. Richard: What about round those rocks over there? Renee: Yeah good plan. Richard: Sweet, looks like I’m all ready to go! Renee: Great! Richard: Hey, if I take a mate with me can I put out two nets? Renee: No, only one set net can be used from a boat at any one time. But, you can also take a bait net. Cameron: A bait net must have a maximum length of 10 meters, and a mesh size of 50mm or less. Richard: OK, well I don’t have a bait net with me today so I guess it’ll just be the set net. Oh, I forgot! I was going to bring a winch so I could pull up all my kaimoana. Renee: Hold on, Richard. You can’t use a winch. Nets can only be set, pulled, hauled or retrieved by hand. Richard: Good thing I forgot that then…Well here’s one thing I do know… Renee: What’s that? Richard: You gotta wear a life jacket! Cameron: Nice one. Richard: So am I all set to set net? Cameron: Yeah bro! Renee: You’re good to go. Richard: Choice. Renee: And if you want to check anything, the rules are available from your local MPI fisheries office, you can find them online at, or you can download the free NZ Fishing Rules App. Richard: Sweet cheers guys. Cameron: Good luck
Richard: Sweet thanks for the help. Renee: Anytime.
Richard: Cool Renee: If you want to set net in New Zealand, you must follow the rules. If you don’t you could be fined $250, or prosecuted up to $20,000. So let your friends and whanau know and teach your mokopuna the right way. You’ll help them to avoid a fine and you’ll be part of creating greater sustainability of our shared fishery resource. It’s everybody’s responsibility to know the rules before you go. So you need to know before you go! [Music] [] [Shared sustainable fisheries for the future]


  1. Good short video guys, make the fines bigger for over catching. Some people just don't get the principle for fishing for tomorrow.

  2. Hi you have stated 100mm mesh size for snapper in this video but your website states 125mm mesh size for snapper in my area very misleading.
    So if I get caught with smaller mesh size with snapper I can use this video as defence?

  3. How does the Conrad Meier Fish Harvester comply with these rules? I hate to see this ad. on tv, people just sitting around reeling in a line full of fish, dragging them across the sand – fish of all sizes. How is this legal, how could anyone call this responsible fishing?

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