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Marine mammal management in New Zealand an overview

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									Marine mammal management in
  New Zealand: an overview
            Laura Boren
              National Office
        Department of Conservation
                Wellington
               New Zealand
                   Outline
•   Introduction to DOC and Marine
•   Marine mammal legislation
•   DOC procedures with marine mammals
•   Marine mammal tourism
  Department of Conservation
           (DOC)
• National Office in
  Wellington
• Regionally based:
  – Two regions (Sth and
    Nth Islands)
  – 12 conservancies
  – 3 – 5 Area Offices per
    conservancy: the
    frontline
• National Office teams
  • Marine Conservation
    Team
  • Marine Conservation
    Services
• Regionally:
  • Conservancy Marine
    TSO
  • Area Biodiversity
    teams
     Marine Mammals
   Protection Act (1978)
• To make provision for the
  protection, conservation and
  management of marine
  mammals
• All species are “protected”
• Permits needed to “take” or
  “attempt to take marine
  mammals”
• Management tools
  • MMS – 6 current
  • PMP – process in review
         Marine Mammals Protection
             Regulations (1992)
• Permit regime for
  commercial tourism
• Sets appropriate behaviour
  for viewing marine mammals
• Aimed at minimising impacts
  on normal movement or
  behaviour
• Fishing operations must
  report accidental catch
• Marine mammal watching
  regulations do not apply to
  vessels commercially fishing
 Marine Mammal
Action Plan 2005-10
• At least 51 marine mammal species in
  NZ waters
• Over 50% of the world’s whale and
  dolphin species are found along NZ
  coasts
• Department prioritises based on;
       • Species protection
       • Management of human interactions and
         use
   – Species led
   – Issues led
• PDF available on www.doc.govt.nz
                       Kaikoura case study
Approximately 120 active marine mammal tourism permits active in
   New Zealand.
~50% of these are from the Nelson/Marlborough Conservancy
This constitutes three primary tourist destinations, the Marlborough
   Sounds, Abel Tasman, and Kaikoura
16 active permits in the Kaikoura region

Marine Mammal Tourism Hotspot
• Whale Watch Kaikoura
    –   100% Maori owned
    –   Started in 1987 with 1 6m boat, 3000 passengers a year
    –   Currently multi-million dollar business, 4 purpose built catamarans,
    –   New marina was built
    –   More than 80,000 visitors per year in 2007
    –   Economic mainstay of the town
    –   Stimulated investment in town infrastructure for tourism
    –   Research on the impacts of sperm whale tourism is underway
•   Dolphin Encounter
     – Targets dusky dolphins
     – 1 dedicated operator
     – Other opportunistic operators
     – Moratorium on marine mammal tourism permits
     – Research and recommendations on dusky dolphin tourism – available
       online: http://www.doc.govt.nz/upload/documents/getting-
       involved/consultations/current-consultations/nelson-
       marlborough/Kaikoura%20dusky%20dolphin/kaikoura-dusky-dolphin-
       report.pdf

•   Ocean Wings
     – Pelagic bird watching
     – 1 dedicated operator, opportunistically views marine mammals

•   Fur seal tourism
     – Several operators – both dedicated and opportunistic
     – TREC series of research from Lincoln University 1998
     – Canterbury University Research 2001-2005
     – DOC contracting work to follow up on the recommendations of 2001
        research
                        Key Issues
– Resources for compliance and enforcement
– Consistency between regions in levels of enforcement, permit
  conditions, number of operators etc.
– Conflict between permitted operators, non-permitted scenic tour
  operators and recreational boats
– Regulations developed in 1992

								
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