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.

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) 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. 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 for this scheme, you must be able to show that you are committed and dependent upon using either set-net or trawl in the impacted areas.

To qualify, a permit holder must meet 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.

If you are a licensed fish receiver

The eligibility criteria for licensed fish receivers are the same as for permit holders, except the assessment is based on fish received rather than fish landed.

Support offered

The scheme has been 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" have been developed for that purpose. The threshold levels have been 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 WILL ASSESS YOUR IMPACT THRESHOLD

The percentage impact of the measures on a permit holder or licensed fish receiver is 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 is 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" is 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.

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 has been 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 is 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 30% 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

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. Only legally received catch returns can be used as evidence to support this review.

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.

Operation of the scheme

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.

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.
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