The consultation was launched on the 17 June and closed yesterday (19 August 2019). Public meetings were held to discuss the plan from Dargaville in the North to Invercargill in the South. We received more than 13,000 submissions by web, email and post. Additionally, a petition of around 76,000 signatures was handed into Parliament.
Hector’s and Māui dolphins are among the world’s rarest dolphins. They face a range of human-induced threats, including fishing, seismic surveying and the disease toxoplasmosis.
Options within the consultation included: increasing the boundaries of marine mammal sanctuaries, extending restrictions on trawling and set netting in areas where the dolphins live, further restrictions on seismic surveying and seabed mining in areas and developing an action plan to deal with toxoplasmosis.
“New Zealanders care deeply about finding solutions to this issue, and that’s been reflected in the many submissions we’ve received from all perspectives throughout the consultation,” says Fisheries New Zealand, Director of Fisheries Management, Stuart Anderson.
“Fisheries New Zealand and the Department of Conservation will now carefully examine all the feedback we have received and incorporate that into advice for Ministers on finalising the Threat Management Plan and the measures that will support it.”
DOC’s Manager of Marine Species and Threats, Ian Angus added, “We would particularly like to thank the communities who we met with during the consultation process.”