For information about fish size and catch limits please visit: Challenger Area Fishing Limits 


Restrictions apply to the Blue Cod fishery - Challenger East Area (includes Marlborough Sounds Area)

Marlborough Sounds Area Only

Closed: 1 September – 19 December inclusive every year.

Daily Limit: 2 per fisher

You can possess up to 4 blue cod in the Challenger East Area (includes the Marlborough Sounds Area) if you can prove that no more than 2 of those blue cod were taken on any one day from the Challenger East Area. This restriction applies if you caught the fish from outside of the Challenger East Area and want to transit into the Challenger East Area.

Size Limit: 33cm minimum. Must be landed whole or gutted only.

Additional Restrictions - You must not:

fillet blue cod, unless you eat them immediately. Any blue cod eaten form part of your daily limit;

during the closed Marlborough Sounds season you may transport blue cod from the Challenger East Area into the Marlborough Sounds Area as long as you can prove where the fish were taken from;

fishers staying in baches and aboard vessels are not exempt from these regulations and may only land or transport by sea, whole or gutted blue cod on any one day;  

when fishing in the Marlborough Sounds Area use no more than 2 hooks per fishing line, when fishing for any finfish species (excluding longlines).


Marlborough Sounds and Eastern Tasman Bay scallop fishery

Up to date information on the scallop fishery closures can be found on the MPI website. Please visit  MPI

The closure applies to both commercial and recreational fishers, and gives the scallop beds time to rest and recover.


Report poaching

Report poaching, suspicious, or illegal activity – call 0800 4 POACHER (0800 47 62 24) or email [email protected].

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.


Please note that this information is only a guide. Make sure you check for local restrictions by contacting your nearest MPI or DOC office or look online