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Net Restrictions In Place to Protect Dolphins

NEW ZEALAND - Primary Industries Minister David Carter has today announced further measures to protect Mauis dolphins.

Following a public consultation process, the existing recreational and commercial set net ban will be extended along the Taranaki coast from Pariokariwa Point south to Hawera, and out to two nautical miles.

In addition, the use of commercial set nets between two and seven nautical miles in this area will be prohibited without an observer on-board.

Mauis dolphins are critically endangered, with an estimated 55 adult animals remaining. The Government is taking this action to protect these dolphins while the Threat Management Plan is reviewed. This will be completed by the end of November, says Mr Carter.

While there is a high level of uncertainty about the activity of Mauis dolphins in the Taranaki area, the fact remains that their small number necessitates this action.

At the same time, the Government is fully aware of the potential impact of this extended ban on the local fishing community which is why a review of the Threat Management Plan is needed, Mr Carter says.

The review of the Plan will reassess natural and man-made risks facing Mauis and Hectors dolphins and recommend how the greatest risks can be mitigated.

You can view the restrictions here.

Charlotte Johnson

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