National Plan of Action for Sharks
23 October 2008
Sharks are vulnerable to over-fishing, and a new national plan of action will strengthen measures to conserve and manage them, Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton says.
The plan was released today. Actions in the plan of action include:
- Ensuring fishers know live finning is an offence under the Animal Welfare Act. A reporting protocol will be established to ensure that any observed instances of live finning are reported to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF).
- Protecting the basking shark. New Zealand has an obligation to provide protection for this species in New Zealand waters and from New Zealand vessels fishing on the High Seas.
- A new ‘prohibited utilisation process standard’ that will ban utilisation of some species where no level of utilisation at all is sustainable.
Jim Anderton says the plan is a commitment to achieving shark conservation and sustainable use.
It meets New Zealand’s international obligations under the UNFAO International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks (IPOA-Sharks).
“New Zealand has a world class fisheries management system. Sharks are vulnerable to over fishing and so the plan sets out how we are going to have stronger conservation and management of the 112 shark species found in New Zealand.
“For example, the practice of live finning sharks is disgusting and already illegal. New Zealanders want to make sure it doesn’t happen here. The plan sets out how the Ministry of Fisheries and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the agency responsible for animal welfare, will work together to ensure sharks are not live finned in New Zealand.