The Minister, Hon Dr. Nick Smith, announced his decision to vary the West Coast North Island Marine Mammal Sanctuary under the Marine Mammals Protection Act 1978, which comes into effect on 26 December 2013.
This variation prohibits commercial and recreational set net fishing between two and seven nautical miles offshore between Pariokariwa Point and the Waiwhakaiho River, Taranaki and increases current set net fishing restrictions by 350 square kilometers. View a map of the variation.
The Minister announced his intention to vary the Sanctuary on 6 September 2013. Over 45,000 submissions were received before closing on 11 October 2013.
Enhanced protection for Māui dolphin
The purpose of the variation is to provide greater protection to Māui dolphin from the risks resulting from set net fishing (commercial and recreational).
The Minister believed the variation to the sanctuary was necessary for the protection, conservation and management of Māui dolphin.
The presence of five possible Māui dolphin sightings, four of which are considered reliable, indicated there may be an overlap between set net fishing and dolphin presence in the defined area.
Map of variation to the West Coast North Island Marine Mammal Sanctuary
View a larger map (PDF, 720K)
- Additional protections and survey results good news for dolphins - media release 22 November 2013
- Regulatory Impact Statement (PDF, 633K) Note: this is a poor quality scan
- Cabinet Paper MSU REF-13-B-472 (PDF, 542K) Note: this is a poor quality scan