Marine Mammal Sanctuaries can be established throughout New Zealand fisheries waters to create a permanent refuge for marine mammals.
Such sanctuaries may prohibit activities known to harm particular marine mammal species, such as dolphins, whales, seals and sea lions. For example, a marine mammal sanctuary may not exclude all fishing activities, but may restrict what fishing methods may be used.
Under the Marine Mammals Protection Act 1978, the Department of Conservation is responsible for administering and managing marine mammal sanctuaries.
The marine environment around the Auckland Islands is unusual as it is both a marine mammal sanctuary and a marine reserve.
Banks Peninsula is home to some of New Zealand’s threatened marine species, including the endangered Hector’s dolphin.
The Catlins Coast marine mammal sanctuary in Southland is approximately 65,967 hectares and covers 161 km of coastline.
The boundaries of the Clifford and Cloudy Bay marine mammal sanctuary extend from Cape Campbell to a point in a direct line to Tory Channel.
The Te Waewae Bay marine mammal sanctuary in Southland is approximately 35,906 hectares and covers 112.93 km of coastline.
The boundaries of the West Coast North Island marine mammal sanctuary extend from Maunganui Bluff in Northland to Oakura Beach, Taranaki, in the south.
Marine mammal publications
Learn about marine mammals
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