“Fisheries Inshore New Zealand is solutions-focused and works closely with its members, the Department of Conservation and Ministry for Primary Industries to reduce the risk of marine mammal captures through gear modifications and improved operational practice.”
A variety of marine mammals inhabit New Zealand’s coast. Some, like common dolphins and fur seals are abundant while others such as Hector’s dolphin, and particularly Maui dolphin, are relatively rare.
In some instances, the distribution of marine mammals overlaps with fishing and on occasion captures of some species do occur. For rare species like Maui dolphins, the last confirmed commercial capture was 2003 and MPI’s most recent risk assessment estimates that fishing may cause 0.14 mortalities per year; while this is very low we are committed to reducing this risk further for this vulnerable species.
Fisheries Inshore New Zealand is solutions-focused and works closely with its members, Department of Conservation and Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to reduce the risk of marine mammal captures through gear modifications and improved operational practice.
MPI has commissioned a marine mammal risk assessment that will provide valuable information about the mammal species most at risk and how that risk is partitioned among various inshore and deepwater fisheries. As that information is reviewed by the MPI Working Group it will be publicly available.
A key role that Fisheries Inshore New Zealand plays in these situations is to ensure that the best information is shared where similar issues may be occurring in other regions (both nationally and internationally) and ensuring that fishing operations reduce the risk of marine mammal captures.