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Voluntary Set Net Ban Welcomed

4 April 2002

Conservation Minister Sandra Lee today welcomed the move by Kaikoura boaties and recreational fishers to ban set nets along most of their local coastline.

The sea users have voluntarily imposed the ban to prevent accidental catching of the rare Hector’s dolphin.

“I commend this responsible action by the boaties and anglers. Set netting is a major threat to the survival of Hector’s dolphins, and irresponsible boat operators are definitely playing their part in the species’ demise,” Ms Lee said.

“Their action reassures me that sea users do care about preserving our country’s precious native species. I would like to issue a challenge to other boaties and recreational anglers to follow the lead of their Kaikoura counterparts – particularly if marine mammals frequent their area.

“Just this week my Department told me about a recent fisher who was set netting off the Marlborough Coast. Another sea user informed the fisher that he should not set net as dolphins were in the area. The fisher promptly withdrew his set nets and found a live Hector’s dolphin caught.

“This rare dolphin would have died had the set net remained in the water. I am heartened to hear that this kind of dialogue and education on the water is starting to occur,” Ms Lee said.

Ends

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