Transition support for fishers affected by the Hector's and Māui dolphins threat management plan

In June 2020, the Government agreed to provide support for businesses impacted by decisions on measures necessary to manage the impacts of fishing on Māui and Hector’s dolphins. Find out about this support.

Reasons for the transition funding

The Government agreed to provide support for businesses affected by decisions in June 2020 on measures necessary to manage the impacts of fishing on Māui and Hector's dolphins. Business and financial support is available to fishers to either transition to dolphin-friendly fishing methods wherever possible or exit the industry.

Find out about the decisions

The scheme covers those determined to be most impacted by measures necessary to avoid, remedy, or mitigate the impacts of fishing on Māui and Hector's dolphins. The new measures will be implemented on 1 October 2020. The scheme will also be available to cover any permit holders and licensed fish receivers similarly impacted by any further South Island measures, which will be consulted on later in 2020.

The scheme is to support fishers (permit holders) that rely on annual catch entitlement (ACE) holdings, and licensed fish receivers (LFRs) who have a history of investment, commitment, or dependence on the fishery in areas impacted by the measures.

Who is eligible?

Not all impacted permit holders and licensed fish receivers will receive support. The transition support is focused on those significantly impacted by the measures, whose business is most dependent on catch from the areas and using the fishing methods that are to be restricted.

To be eligible for support, permit holders and licensed fish receivers will need to meet a set of criteria designed to assess the ongoing commitment and dependence on the impacted catch. More detail on these criteria will be provided by Fisheries New Zealand to affected permit holders and licensed fish receivers. 

Find out more about the criteria and impact assessments

What benefits will the scheme provide?

Independent business advice

Fishers and licensed fish receivers who will have their catch/value of fish received impacted by 10% or more are entitled to up to $5,000 independent business advice to support their decision-making on the future of their business if needed.

Find out how the eligibility thresholds are calculated

Financial support

Fishers and licensed fish receivers who will have their catch/value of fish received impacted by 20% or more are entitled to a one-off ex gratia financial support payment. Those permit holders and licensed fisher receivers who are facing the biggest impact on their business will receive the most financial support.

The scheme does not provide compensation for economic loss as a result of the measures; such compensation is not required under the Fisheries Act. It is designed to support businesses transitioning wherever possible to dolphin-friendly fishing methods. However, in some cases, this will not be possible so the support can also be used to transition to other industries or activities.

When is the support available?

The business advice is available from 29 June 2020. The ex gratia payments to parties impacted by the new measures will be available from the day after implementation of measures, which is intended to be 2 October 2020. Any ex gratia payments related to any other measures that are subject to further consultation as part of this threat management plan will be paid the day after they come into force.

How to apply

No application is required. Fisheries New Zealand will contact all impacted fishers and licensed fish receivers to advise eligibility and our assessment of the extent of impact based on the defined criteria by 3 July 2020.

Right of review

A permit holder or licensed fish receiver can seek a review of whether they are eligible for the scheme and/or the extent of impact calculated. To request a review send an email with the subject line "Review" to dolphintmp@mpi.govt.nz

All review requests must be received by Friday 31 July 2020.

Who to contact

If you have any questions, email dolphintmp@mpi.govt.nz

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