set net prohibition introduced
Wednesday 11 April 2001
Joint News Release - Department of Conservation and Ministry of Fisheries
Set Net Prohibition Introduced
The Ministry of Fisheries has announced that a voluntary prohibition on recreational set netting in Canterbury waters becomes an enforceable regulation from Friday 13 April.
Last month recreational fishers were asked to comply with a voluntary set net ban to help protect the endangered Hector's dolphin, until the regulations were approved by the government.
The government has now approved the set net prohibition in Canterbury Fisheries Waters (approximately the Waiau River to the Waitaki River, including the Banks Peninsula Marine Mammal Sanctuary, but not including Lake Ellesmere) from 13 April until 30 September 2001.
"Since last October there have been five Hector's dolphin mortalities associated with recreational set netting, and this poses a threat to the Canterbury Hector's dolphin population. The acceptable level of fishing mortality for the Canterbury population is two to three dolphins per year," said Ray Voller, Ministry of Fisheries spokesperson.
Cheryl Colley, DOC Community Relations Manager, said five dead dolphins since October was simply not sustainable.
"Low reproductive rates make Hector's dolphin particularly vulnerable to any additional human-induced mortality such as accidental catch in set nets," she said.
Mr Voller said the Ministry of Fisheries would review recreational set netting measures in Canterbury fisheries waters to develop long term measures for implementation from 1 October 2001.
The Ministry of Fisheries and the Department of Conservation would work with tangata whenua, recreational and commercial set netters, and environmental groups to develop options for the long term management of Hector's dolphin and Canterbury set net fisheries.
Both departments have asked recreational fishers to co-operate by complying with the new prohibition, and help protect Hector's dolphins.
For further information please contact
Ray Voller, Ministry of Fisheries, Tel 03 474 0333
Cheryl Colley, Department of Conservation, Tel 03 379 9758