The CRA 2 fishery extends from Te Arai through the Hauraki Gulf and Bay of Plenty to East Cape. The current 173 tonnes total allowable catch (TAC) for the fishery was set in 2018. The current total allowable commercial catch (TACC) is 80 tonnes.

CRA2 Fishery management and statistical areas

The 100 million quota shares representing the 80 tonnes TACC are distributed amongst 50 quota share owners. There are currently 19 CRA 2 Annual Catch Entitlement (ACE) owners and in 2019 there were 18 vessels reporting commercial catches. Quota shares are infrequently traded and a recent transfer was valued at a $1.08 million per tonne equivalent. CRA 2 ACE trades for $55/kg.

The main operating period for commercial vessels generally extends from June to January. The estimated landed value of the CRA 2 catch is $6.9 million (based on average port price paid to fishermen) and the industry sustains a number of processing and export companies in Whitianga and Auckland.

The current TAC allows amateur catches from this fishery. Potting and diving are the preferred methods, and there is a large recreational charter vessel industry catering to the sector.

Customary catch is conservatively estimated at 16.5 tonnes. Rock lobsters have cultural significance to local Maori and a large Maori population in the Bay of Plenty region ensures that rock lobster retains significant customary value.

The CRA 2 Rock Lobster Management Company Ltd (CRAMAC 2) is the representative commercial stakeholder group for this region. CRAMAC 2 has made significant investments in rock lobster research since its formation in 1995, including a comprehensive vessel logbook programme, tag and release projects, and sequences of intensive catch sampling to Ministry standards and specifications.