Eligibility criteria and impact assessments for transition support for fishers affected by dolphin protection measures

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 the eligibility criteria and impact assessments.

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.

Purpose of the scheme

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.

The scheme is to support fishers (permit holders) who 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. The fund is designed to support fishers to either transition to dolphin-friendly fishing methods wherever possible or exit the industry.

Eligibility

If you are a permit holder

To qualify, a permit holder must have met these criteria:

  • hold a current fishing permit
  • have taken over 1 tonne of greenweight fish from the areas impacted within the selected consecutive 12-month period during 1 October 2016 to 30 September 2019
  • have fished using the restricted method, in the area impacted within the period October 2018 to 12 May 2020
  • have not changed to a fishing method or area not impacted by the measures as of 30 May 2020.

Permit holders must also be able to show they are committed and dependent upon using either set-net or trawl in the impacted areas.

If you are a licensed fish receiver

To qualify, a licensed fish receiver must:

  • hold a current LFR licence
  • have received over 1 tonne of greenweight fish from the areas impacted within the selective 12-month period during 1 October 2016 to 30 September 2019, and
  • have received fish caught using either set-net or trawl (the restricted methods), in the areas impacted within the period October 2018 to 12 May 2020.

Support offered

The scheme is carefully targeted to support those most impacted. The type and extent of support provided are defined by the extent of the impact. Two "impact thresholds" were developed for that purpose. The threshold levels were chosen to try to provide some support to as many affected fishers as possible while focusing the most support on these considered significantly impacted.

10% threshold

If a business has met a threshold of 10% of impact then that business is entitled to up to $5,000 independent business advice. The advice is intended to provide support to the business owner, if required, to consider how best to manage the impact of the measures on their business. This funding will be paid directly by the Ministry for Primary Industries to the suppliers of business advice.

20% threshold

If a business has met a threshold of 20% of impact then that business is entitled to a one-off ex gratia payment. The payment is focused on supporting businesses to transition to dolphin-friendly methods of fishing where this is possible. However, if the business cannot transition then the payment can be used to support exit from the industry.

HOW WE HAVE ASSESSED YOUR IMPACT THRESHOLD

The percentage impact of the measures on a permit holder or licensed fish receiver has been calculated based on catch from areas to be closed to the specified catch methods (trawl and set-net), and weighted based on the relative value of species. A 12-consecutive-month period of the value-weighted catch was used to estimate a permit holder or licensed fish receiver's individual highest value-weighted impact above the thresholds across the 2016/17, 2017/18, and 2018/19 October fishing years. The "percentage impact" was calculated as:

a. The total estimated catch greenweight reported in the returns within the 2016/17, 2017/18, and 2018/19 fishing years is assessed.

b. The catch is then weighted based on the relative value of species using average port price and/or export price.

c. The impacted value-weighted catch is the portion of the catch from areas to be closed under the new threat management plan measures to the specified catch methods (trawl and set-net), compared to all other landings (with other methods and caught in other areas).

d. The selected 12-month period is the 12 consecutive months with the highest impacted value-weighted catch.

e. The impacted percentage is the percentage of impacted value-weighted catch taken from areas to be closed under the new threat management plan measures to the specified catch methods (trawl and set-net), compared to all other reported catch (with other methods and caught in other areas), within the 12-month period selected.

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 effected by the new measures.

This approach makes some provision for between-year catch level fluctuations and is an approach similar to that used for allocating quota based on provisional catch history. The catch data used to determine eligibility is that reported by fishers and licensed fish receivers, as required under reporting regulations, to the Ministry for Primary Industries.

The catch value was determined using the reported catch weighted by either port prices (for permit holders) or generic species export prices (for licensed fish receivers) for the 2016/17, 2017/18, and 2018/19 October fishing years.

Licensed fish receivers

The process for determining the amount of ex-gratia payment for a licenced fish receiver was the same as for a permit holder. However, licenced fish receivers have different cost structures and in general, are more able to adapt to changes in who catches fish (depending on individual circumstances).

In recognition of this difference licenced fish receivers will have a 45.5% reduction in ex gratia payment relative to an equivalently impacted permit holder. The reduced payment to licenced fish receivers focuses more financial support on significantly impacted permit holders thereby increasing the chance of successful transition and continuation of fish supply to the licenced fish receiver.

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

Operation of the scheme

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.

Key criteria for scheme development

  • The scheme will operate for the 2020/21 financial year only.
  • It focuses support on those significantly impacted who have demonstrated continuing commitment and dependence on the areas and methods impacted.
  • The scheme is designed to be simple, consistent, transparent, and fair.
  • Financial support will be available at the time measures become effective.
  • The scheme must operate within financial constraints of Government.
Last reviewed: