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.

Update – 3 September 2020

Requests for a second review open until 10 September

Initial assessments on eligibility and impact were done by 3 July.

Permit holders and licensed fish receivers could seek a review of whether they are were eligible for the scheme and the extent of impact calculated. Requests for review had to be lodged by 31 July.

Those who requested a review have been advised of the outcome. Those permit holders and licensed fish receivers whose eligibility or impact assessment subsequently changed can now request a review of their revised result. This review request must be submitted to Fisheries New Zealand by 10 September 2020.

To request a review send an email with the subject line "Review" and a brief rationale in the body of the email to dolphintmp@mpi.govt.nz

What we found during the first review

During the review period, additional catch data that had not been used in the initial assessment was identified. One of the main findings was that the catch of fishers who reported by statistical area (and not by location coordinates) needed to be included in the assessment of impact.

The locations of fish catch events are usually reported by fishers using longitude and latitude. In some cases, locations have been reported by statistical areas, which are more general. To determine the level of impact on permit holders who reported by statistical area, catch data (since 1 October 2019) containing location information was used to see what proportion of catch was taken from parts of statistical areas impacted by the new measures. This proportion was then used to estimate how much catch taken in the 2017/18, 2018/19, and 2019/20 fishing years was within impacted areas.

If recent catch data was not available, a set of generic rules was used. This was based on:

  • the fish species being targeted
  • the proportion of their habitat covered by the new measures within the reported statistical areas
  • the proportion of the statistical area affected by the new measures.

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 must meet a set of criteria designed to assess the ongoing commitment and dependence on the impacted catch. More detail on these criteria has been 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 until 1 June 2021. The ex gratia payments to parties impacted by the new measures will be available from 2 October 2020, the day after implementation of the new measures. 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 was required. Fisheries New Zealand contacted 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. Any additional impacted fishers and licensed fish receivers who were assessed as eligible following the 30-day review period were contacted by 4 September 2020.

Right of review

Permit holders and licensed fish receivers were able to seek a review of their eligibility for the scheme and/or the extent of impact calculated. Requests for a review had to be received by Friday 31 July 2020.

Further right of review

All permit holders and licensed fish receivers who are eligible or who requested a review have been advised of the outcome of those reviews. Those permit holders and licensed fish receivers whose eligibility or impact assessment subsequently changed can request a review of their revised result. This review request must be submitted to Fisheries New Zealand by 10 September 2020.

To request a review send an email with the subject line "Review" and a brief rationale in the body of the email to dolphintmp@mpi.govt.nz

Who to contact

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

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