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Further consultation on fisheries measures to protect Hector’s dolphins in the South Island

12 October 2022 – MINISTER'S DECISION

Following consultation from 11 October to 6 December 2021, the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries has made decisions on further fisheries measures to protect South Island Hector's dolphins.

Minister's decision letter [PDF, 704 KB]

New measures to further protect South Island Hector’s dolphins – Government media release

Hector's and Māui dolphins TMP – 2022 South Island fisheries measures [PDF, 1.4 MB]

Hector’s and Māui dolphins TMP – South Island Hector’s Dolphins Bycatch Reduction Plan [PDF, 7.2 MB]

Consultation background

In 2020, the Government extended the bans on commercial and recreational use of set nets to protect South Island Hector's dolphins. However, the options for trawl closures in the South Island were not decided at that time. The Government determined that further consultation was required on other approaches to manage the remaining fisheries risk to Hector’s dolphin in the South Island.

What we proposed

We sought public feedback on the following fisheries measures to further protect South Island Hector's dolphins:

  • a "bycatch reduction plan" to work with fishers to avoid all dolphin mortality while allowing fishing to continue where possible
  • an expansion of trawl gear restrictions (low headline height trawl net or slow tow speed or both) in Tasman and Golden Bays, Pegasus Bay, Canterbury Bight to Timaru, and Te Waewae Bay
  • a further area closure to commercial and recreational set net fishing around Banks Peninsula.

These options were in addition to the existing fishing restrictions and could be considered separately (north, east, and south coasts of the South Island) or as a package.

Consultation documents

Related information

Frequently asked questions – Additional fisheries measures to protect South Island Hector’s dolphins [PDF, 365 KB] 

Fisheries Act 1996 – NZ Legislation 

Spatial risk assessment of threats to Hector's and Māui dolphins [PDF, 8.9 MB]

Review of the Hector's and Māui dolphin Threat Management Plan

Consultation for cameras on boats – YouTube

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Official Information Act 1982 – NZ Legislation