Hector’s Dolphin Ruling

Date: 30/03/2010

The High Court rejected the fishing industry’s challenge to four of the six fishing restrictions imposed by previous Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton. The court sent two of the measures back to the then Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley to reconsider (he resigned 26 February 2010). The rare dolphins are known to be caught in fishing nets. The decision to extend set net bans on New Zealand’s North Island’s west coast from four to seven nautical miles was referred back to the minister. This measure was designed to protect Maui’s dolphins, a sub-species of Hector’s dolphin. These are the rarest marine dolphins in the world, with about 111 remaining. The fishing measures include regional bans on set netting and trawling in some coastal waters where Hector’s and Maui’s dolphins are found.

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