Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


SI set net fishers urged to set nets carefully

22 December 2005 Media release

South Island set net fishers urged to set nets carefully

Fishers who use set nets in the South Island are being urged to be extremely careful in their use of set nets this summer following the recent deaths of a number of Hector's dolphins. While set netting is not allowed in Canterbury waters over summer months (October to March), it is allowed in most other areas of the South Island.

Just this week 2 Hector's dolphins were killed in set nets off the Otago coast, and 4 were killed in November off the West Coast. The fishers involved in this week's event did the right thing and reported the incident to the Ministry of Fisheries, however, it is even more important that fishers take measures to avoid killing these endangered mammals.

The Ministry of Fisheries and the Department of Conservation have teamed up to spread the word over the dangers that set nets pose to the dolphins, a threatened species found only in New Zealand waters.

The Hector's dolphin is the world's smallest, and one of the rarest, marine dolphins. The South Island has around 7,000 Hector's dolphins with approximately 5,400 of these on the West Coast. Nets set by recreational fishers are one of the biggest threats to the sustainability of the species.

"A total population figure of 7200 may look reasonable, but Hector's dolphins have a low rate of reproduction - just sufficient to replace the population. It is not sufficient to cope with human-caused deaths.

"Females need to reach eight years before they can give birth and they then produce around five calves over an average lifetime of 20 years.

"I have asked the Ministry to review the use of set netting particularly in areas of high risk to threatened and/or endangered species.

"Anyone planning on using a set net should familiarise themselves with the Set Net Code of Practice on the Ministry of Fisheries website: However, as a general guide:
- Avoid open beaches.
- Don’t set net if dolphins are present.
- No overnight netting.
- Stay near your net.
- Check your net regularly.
- Keep your net set taut.
- Set your nets for as short a time as possible.
- Maintain your gear in good repair.
- Keep an eye out for dolphins.
- Remove your net if dolphins turn up," Jim Anderton said.

The Government is working on a Threat Management Plan, run jointly by Department of Conservation and the Ministry of Fisheries in conjunction with an advisory group. The aim is to better define threats to all dolphin populations and how to best manage those threats, including those posed by recreational set net fishing.

If you have any questions regarding the setting of your net, contact your local DOC or MFish office.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation

Friday will be a big day for people north of Kaikōura – and for hundreds of construction workers who are racing to reopen State Highway 1 in time for the holiday season.

By the afternoon, the South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>


BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>


Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>


State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Vulnerable Kids, RNZ Funding, And Poppy

The decision to remove the word ‘vulnerable’ from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children could well mark a whole shift in approach to the care of children in need... More>>





Featured InfoPages