The summer-long ban on set netting at Arkles Bay will be lifted at midnight on Easter Monday (28 March). Recreational set netting will be allowed at the popular Whangaparaoa fishing spot until Labour Weekend, but must comply with a strict code of practice to meet public safety requirements.
“We have had a ban on set netting in place over summer to allow swimmers and others enjoying water sports to have the freedom of the water,” says Auckland Council’s Regulatory and Bylaws Committee Chair, Councillor Calum Penrose.
"However we need to make room for recreational fishers too. We can do so over winter provided they operate safely and with consideration for other users of the bay."
After Easter, recreational set netting is permitted in Arkles Bay under the following conditions:
- Any set netting occurring during this period must still be in accordance with Fisheries Act requirements administered by the Ministry for Primary Industry. These are explained clearly within a set net code of practice brochure distributed by the Ministry. The brochure also outlines other matters of good practice that set net fishers need to consider.
- Set nets must be marked
- Staking of nets is prohibited
- Set nets must be less than 60m in length
- There is a maximum of one net per person or one net and one bait net per vessel
- Nets must be more than 60m apart
- Using baited nets is prohibited
Grant Barnes, Auckland Council's General Manager Licensing and Compliance Services, says set netters must take care not to breach the council’s Public Safety and Nuisance Bylaw by obstructing the beach.
“Bylaws officers will take action if set netting creates a real and actual nuisance or presents a real and immediate danger to public safety,” he says.
He says action will also be taken if set netting is undertaken in an aggressive and/or intimidating manner; involves the use of vehicles on the beach not associated with the deployment or retrieval of a boat; or establishes a physical obstruction on the beach.
Any person who feels unsafe or intimidated at any time should immediately call the police.
Over the summer the ban resulted in just three complaints, which were about breaches of the ban rather than immediate danger to public safety caused by nets.