New fishing prohibitions to protect Hector’s and Maui’s dolphins
30 September 2008
New fishing rules to protect New Zealand’s threatened Hector’s and Maui’s dolphins will come into force for recreational and commercial fishers on Wednesday 1 October 2008.
The new rules are a variety of regional prohibitions and other restrictions on set netting, trawling and drift netting in coastal waters. They apply on the:
- North Island west coast—from Maunganui Bluff north of Kaipara Harbour to Pariokariwa Point north of New Plymouth
- South Island east coast—from Cape Jackson in the Marlborough Sounds to Slope Point in the Catlins
- South Island south coast—from Slope Point in the Catlins to Sand Hill Point east of Fiordland
- South Island west coast—from Farewell Spit Lighthouse in the north to Awarua Point north of Fiordland.
Fishers should check the new rules for the place where they fish—before they go fishing or call the nearest Ministry of Fisheries office.
To view and download a text summary and maps of the new rules – see the links and attachments below.
The new rules vary from place to place, and according to the fishing method and whether the fishing is recreational or commercial.
Fishers should also check for existing fishing prohibitions and restrictions outside the affected areas here before they go fishing.
The Ministry of Fisheries will treat any breach of the new rules on a case-by-case basis. Penalties range from a verbal warning to a fine of up to $20,000 for recreational fishers or up to $100,000 for commercial fishers, and forfeiture of vessels and fishing gear used in the offence.
Interim relief from the new rules granted for some commercial fishers
The New Zealand Federation of Commercial Fishermen and other industry parties recently lodged a legal challenge against the new rules and sought interim relief to stop some of the rules coming into force in some areas. On Friday 26 September, the High Court granted the interim relief that industry sought. This means that for some areas the new set net rules will not apply to commercial fishers, or will apply as modified by the Court. However, if a Hector’s or Maui’s is captured in a commercial set net in any of the areas where interim relief has been granted, the interim relief will end. See table below for descriptions and maps of the interim relief for commercial set net fishers.
The court action does not apply to regulations due to come into force for recreational fishers on 1 October 2008.
- Download text summaries and maps - see the links and attachments below
- For photographs of Hector’s dolphins email email@example.com