Parliament

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
EMBARGOED UNTIL 2 PM


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.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Fallout From The Barclay Tape

This is hardly a case of cleaning out your desk and being turfed out onto the pavement.

As others have pointed out, the disgraced Clutha-Southland MP will remain on the public payroll for three months until the election, and for three months afterwards. More>>

 

Ombudsman: Canterbury Schools Reorganisation Mishandled

An investigation into the Canterbury schools reorganisation after the February 2011 earthquakes has found significant gaps and flaws in the Ministry’s engagement and communications with schools and communities. More>>

ALSO:

Law Commission: Contempt Report "Protects Right To Fair Trial"

The proposed Act limits what news media representatives and bloggers can report on court proceedings, but it also makes clearer than the current law where the line is between contempt and freedom of expression. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Our Refugee Intake (And Uber’s Woes)

On figures released this week, there are currently 65.6 million people worldwide who have been displaced from their homes by war, famine or other external causes… More>>

ALSO:

IGIS Report: GCSB Support For Groser WTO Bid Not Illegal

“The inquiry has found that the GCSB did not act unlawfully or improperly in providing assistance to the New Zealand government campaign”, Ms Gwyn said. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: Pike And Houses

There were questions on Pike River mine re-entry after new video from inside the drift was released over the weekend. English maintained a human effort would not be feasible irrespective of any future coalition demands from NZ First. He said the government would continue to work with families on non-manned re-entry. More>>

ALSO:

Flogging A Dead Horse: NZ First Seeks New s59 Referendum

10 years on from the so called “anti-smacking” law - NZ First calls for a binding referendum. NZ First MP Tracey Martin told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that the law change has had a “chilling effect” on NZ parents including herself. More>>

ALSO:

Always Interesting: Internet Party Has New Leader

The Internet Party has a new leader: Suzie Dawson... She currently resides in Moscow, Russia, where she has applied for temporary asylum due to severe persecution she reports being subjected to by those whose corruption she worked to expose.More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog