The West Coast fishery lies sandwiched between the raw power of the Tasman Sea and the towering Southern Alps mountain range.
The West Coast fishery extends some 350 nautical miles from the Cascade Coast in the South, to the Kahurangi Coast to the North.
At the geographical heart of our fishery is Westfleet’s home Port of Greymouth, the most populous town on the ‘coast’ (approximately 10,000 residents).
New Zealand, with the 9th largest coastal area of any country in the World, has a substantial fishery that has a sustainable reputation, built over the last 20 years – a time when many other nations fisheries collapsed. New Zealand’s territorial limit extends to 12 miles off the coast, and the Exclusive Economic Zone, or EEZ, extends to 200 miles around our shores.
The waters off the South Island’s West Coast provide everything from shallow coastal margins to deep offshore trenches, from sandy long-drift beaches to coarse gravel sea-beds, with an array of desirable species in abundance year round.
Due to its proximity to turbulent weather, the West Coast fishery preserves itself by only allowing access to its harvest when the weather dictates. Extensive local knowledge by Westfleet’s experienced crews allows us to fish year round, in an otherwise hostile environment.
Combine this with the heavy rainfall from moisture-laden clouds that batter the coastline, and you have an extreme, but commanding fishery that requires knowledge, skill and determination to fish successfully.
Located in the area known to mariners as ‘The Roaring Forties’ due to the severe ocean gales that occur at a latitude of 40 degrees, our fishery serves up weather that demands respect.
With water temperatures that remain consistently cool, the West Coast provides a rich environment, where many species thrive, feeding on the smorgasbord bought up by the Southern Antarctic currents.
Coastal and sub-oceanic natural features of note include:
- The vast Hokitika Trench (an ancient drowned river system)
- The Cook Canyon
- To the North West, the Challenger Plateau
- The edge of the Continental Shelf, at Jackson’s Bay down to Fijordland
- The Open Bay Islands, off Haast
- The vast coastal wetlands of Okarito and Westhaven
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