Apply for a permit to monitor species or conduct research within a marine reserve.

Most monitoring or research activities within a marine reserve will require a permit. See the information below for what does and doesn’t require a permit and how to apply. 

If you do not require a permit it is still a good idea to contact your local DOC office, as this helps us to understand what research is being undertaken in an area. 

When a permit is required

A permit is required for:

  • the use of toxic substances (eg, rotenone for gathering fish)
  • taking living samples of marine life
  • taking non-living samples of marine life (including shell, rock, sand or marine artefacts)
  • taking specimens to the surface for measuring and later release 
  • handling species under water (eg, lifting kina to measure) 
  • catching fish (eg, lining, potting) 
  • tagging of fish or other marine life
  • placing structures on the sea bed (eg, cages, exclusion devices or traps)
  • baited underwater video.

When a permit is not required

Techniques that involve counting or measuring marine life in situ and without interference to marine life do not require a permit. This includes:

  • underwater visual censuses 
  • underwater video/sled tows used for filming
  • invertebrate counts or measurements (eg, paua or kina that are measure on the rock without their movement).

Apply for a permit

Identify the name and status of the marine reserve you wish to use by checking DOC maps.

We will invoice you once we have processed your application. Your fee is likely to be $1,540 plus GST ($1,771 including GST). If the application is particularly complex further costs may be charged above the estimated fee. There is no charge for non-commercial applications. 

Your application should be processed within 40 working days of receipt, but may take longer if it is particularly complex or requires consultation. 

If your application is approved we will send you a contract which you must sign and return before proceeding with your activity.

Additional applications 

You may also require additional authorisations such as:

Contact us

For more information or assistance with your application contact the nearest of these DOC offices

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