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


Permits to be required for shark cage tourism

Hon Dr Nick Smith
Minister of Conservation

28 February 2014

Media Statement
Permits to be required for shark cage tourism

Tourism businesses viewing great white sharks will be required to have a permit in the same way as for whale, dolphin and seal watching, Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today following meetings with the tourism operators and concerned divers on Stewart Island.

“There is a place for tourism operators that enable people to see these magnificent great white sharks in the wild, but a permit system is needed to ensure it is done responsibly,” Dr Smith said.

About 100 great white sharks frequent the Foveaux Strait each year between December and June to feed off the large local fur seal breeding colony. Over the past few years, new businesses have developed that see tourists placed in a viewing cage off the boat.

“These fledgling tourism businesses have developed in an environment lacking appropriate controls. The concern of the divers is that the use of burley and feeding to attract the sharks to the viewing cages will change the behaviour of the great whites to expect food around boats – putting divers at greater risk. There is also concern from wildlife experts that the sharks are being encouraged with the use of bait to attack the cage, causing permanent injury to the sharks.

“Tourism operators interacting with wildlife need to be cautious of changing the behaviour of wildlife. That is why DOC regulates boats viewing dolphins, whales and seals. The concerns and problems around these great white shark tourism businesses have developed to the point where regulation is necessary.

“DOC will be writing to the shark cage tourism operators notifying them of the requirement to have a permit under the Wildlife Act. The Department will also be consulting the Stewart Island community on the details of permit conditions to ensure these tourism operators do not change the behaviour nor harm these great white sharks.

“The issue over great white sharks is causing tension within the small Stewart Island community, between those supporting the tourism operators and those concerned about the risk to divers and others from shark attacks. There are reports of people deliberately killing the great whites even though they are a protected species. The solution lies in tightening the rules around shark tourism operators and taking a firm approach against anybody deliberately killing these sharks.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news