Image: Martin Stanley | DOC

Introduction

Read about the plan and the 2012 and 2018/19 reviews.

About the plan

A Threat Management Plan (TMP) is used by the Department of Conservation and Fisheries New Zealand to help make management decisions around threats towards protected species in New Zealand. The first Hector's and Māui dolphin TMP was undertaken in 2007 to evaluate and manage the risks from threats such as fishing, tourism, vessel strike, pollution, climate change, and disease.

So far, big steps forward have been taken to help protect Māui and Hector’s dolphins. Fisheries restrictions, including set net and trawl bans, have been implemented in parts of the North and South Island, and six marine mammal sanctuaries have been established which include more stringent controls over petroleum and mineral prospecting and mining.

2018/19 review of the Hector's and Māui dolphin TMP

The review process aims to reassess the way threats to these dolphins are managed. This is based on updated information on the Hector's and Māui dolphin populations and new informationon the threats they are exposed to (such as fishing, disease and noise), and how serious those threats are.

More information on the 2018/19 review process.

2012 review of the Māui dolphin portion of the TMP

In January 2012 a Hector’s or Māui dolphin died in a commercial set net off Cape Egmont, Taranaki.  A few months later, a new population estimate revealed there were likely only between 48-69 adult Māui dolphins remaining.

On 13 March 2012, in light of this new information, the Minister of Primary Industries and the Minister of Conservation announced that the review of the Māui dolphin portion of the TMP would be brought forward from 2013 and undertaken in 2012.

The purpose of the review process was to reassess management measures based on updated information on the Māui dolphin population, the human-induced threats they are exposed to, and their vulnerability to those threats.

A Māui dolphin risk assessment workshop was held in June 2012 to evaluate the current information available about threats to Māui dolphin. The risk assessment scoring was conducted by an expert panel of domestic and international specialists. The results of the workshop informed development of the options for threat management for the dolphins and are available in the Māui dolphin risk assessment report, 2012 (PDF, 6,850K)

DOC and MPI welcomed feedback on a range of options and recommendations for mitigating both fishing and non-fishing human induced threats to Māui dolphin during a consultation process. Those options were contained within the Review of the Māui dolphin Threat Management Plan Consultation Paper (PDF, 12,000K).

Submissions were summarised in a final advice paper to Ministers:

For advice and submissions on fishing-related measures, see the Fisheries NZ website.

In November 2013, Ministers announced their decisions on the review (PDF, 2,306K). A package of protection measures were announced using legislation from both the Marine Mammal Protection Act (1978) and the Fisheries Act (1996), and included maintaining the interim protection measures from 2012.

View a summary of the joint Ministers' decisions on the Māui dolphin TMP review.

At the conclusion of the 2012 review, Ministers stated that the next full Hector's and Māui dolphin Threat Management Plan review would take place in 2018.

2007 Threat Management Plan

Public and government concern over the effect of human induced mortality on Hector’s and Māui dolphin led to the development of a draft TMP to help protect these species. The draft plan underwent a public consultation process before going to Ministers of Conservation and Fisheries for decisions. 

Draft for public consultation (PDF, 3,257K)

The TMP led to the establishment of a series of marine mammal sanctuaries to protect Hector's and Māui dolphins:

Mining and acoustic seismic surveying restrictions were applied to these sanctuaries. 

A range of fisheries restrictions were announced by the Minister of Fisheries (PDF, 863K)


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