The set net ban along parts of the Taranaki coast is to be extended, the Government has announced, in a measure to further protect the critically endangered Maui's dolphin.

The existing recreational and commercial set net ban will be extended from Pariokariwa Point south to Hawera, and out to two nautical miles.

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

Primary Industries Minister David Carter made the announcement today, following a public consultation process.


"Maui's dolphins are critically endangered, with an estimated 55 adult animals remaining," Mr Carter said. "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.
"While there is a high level of uncertainty about the activity of Maui's 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.

The review of the plan will reassess natural and man-made risks facing Maui's and Hector's dolphins and recommend how the greatest risks can be mitigated.

- Herald Online Staff