New Zealand is a maritime nation with the 4th largest exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the world. Our waters are the home of many protected species:
- over 40 cetaceans (whales and dolphins),
- nine pinnipeds (seals and sea lions), and
- more than 80 seabird species have been recorded, as well as a diverse range of corals, fish and reptiles.
These waters also provide for important commercial, recreational and customary fishing resources.
Marine protected species can be threatened by commercial fishing.
- Direct impacts include being caught, injured, or killed in nets or on hooks. Benthic species may also be impacted by bottom trawlers and other fishing methods operating on or near the seabed.
- Indirect impacts such as habitat modification, food competition and behaviour modification of protected species may also occur. These impacts may compromise the viability or recovery of protected species populations.
This year DOC is establishing a more extensive fisheries bycatch programme as a result of the availability of additional funding through Biodiversity Budget 2018.
Central to defining and prioritising projects has been the use of the existing Conservation Services Programme (CSP). The programme is DOC’s primary mechanism to understand and address fishing related threats to protected species. CSP is legislated to undertake research to understand and address these impacts and to recover the costs of these 'conservation services' from the commercial fishing sector.
The draft Conservation Services Programme Annual Plan 2019/20 is one component of DOC’s wider bycatch programme and describes those services proposed to be delivered as conservation services during the 2019/20 financial year.
Other related work that is being conducted through DOC’s bycatch programme (but not levied as “conservation services”) includes, but is not limited to:
- hoiho recovery work
- Antipodean albatross recovery work
- Campbell Island seabird research (quantifying the population size of Campbell and grey-headed albatrosses, and Northern giant petrels)
- the expansion of the existing protected species liaison officer work
- understanding potential indirect effects between commercial fisheries and king shags, and
- a feasibility trial to determine the operational performance and effectiveness of the underwater bait setter as a new seabird bycatch mitigation method for use in the surface longline commercial fishery in New Zealand.
For a summary of the legal basis of levied work described in this Annual Plan, refer to the Conservation Services Programme Strategic Statement (PDF, 6,310K).
Download the draft plan
Make a submission
Email submissions to email@example.com by 5 pm on 2 June 2019.
Stakeholder submissions will be used to finalise the draft Conservation Services Programme Annual Plan 2019/20. The draft plan will then be presented to the Minister of Conservation for consideration and, if agreed, approval.