5.30pm to 8.30pm for New Plymouth Maui’s drop-in meeting
11 October 2007
Ministry of Fisheries and Department of Conservation staff are looking forward to a good turn out at a drop-in meeting in New Plymouth today to discuss the Hector’s and Maui’s dolphin Threat Management Plan.
The New Plymouth meeting runs between 5.30pm and 8.30pm and is being held at the Plymouth Hotel. Similar meetings have been held around the country in places where the plan may affect people.
MFish National Environmental Manager Steve Halley said there are already some fisheries measures in place to protect Maui’s dolphins on the west coast of the North Island, but the future of the population is still very uncertain.
“The plan puts forward three options for further protection from set-nets and three options for further protection from trawling. We want to know people’s views on the options and how they might be affected.
Mr Halley said the plan has been developed over the past two years by MFish and DOC, with staff meeting with stakeholders to discuss drafts of the plan and the range of threats facing the dolphins.
“MFish met with the Taranaki Fisheries Liaison Committee in New Plymouth in April this year to discuss the plan with representatives of regional commercial and recreational stakeholder organisations, and several Taranaki iwi. We met again with the committee more recently.”
Mr Halley said MFish has contracted a research company to gather information on the social, cultural and economic impacts of any further threat management measures.
DOC Manager Marine Species and Sites Simon Banks said the drop-in meeting is being held to discuss the plan and answer any questions, particularly on making submissions and where to from here.
“The style of the meeting is important as it allows people to ask questions one to one, rather than competing against each other at a public meeting.”
DOC and MFish staff will also be encouraging people to write submissions to the Ministers to explain how each option in the plan stands to affect them.
The Ministers’ decision is expected in November, in time for any new management measures to be in place before Christmas.
Draft Hector's and Maui's dolphin threat management plan