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Seabird and Marine Mammal Bycatch Reduction Through Fishing Industry Funded Research: The New Zealand Conservation Services Levy Program

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Since 1995 the New Zealand government has implemented a scheme to recover from the domestic commercial fishing industry the funding required to investigate and mitigate the impacts of fishing on protected species of marine wildlife. Conservation Services Levies are approved by the Minister of Conservation, administered by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and are collected by the Ministry of Fisheries. The levies are set annually following extensive consultation between the relevant government agencies and stakeholder groups. Levies are primarily used to boost observer coverage in selected fisheries, to monitor the status of protected species known to be incidentally taken in fishing operations, and to develop ways of mitigating the by-catch of species protected under the New Zealand Marine Mammals Protection Act 1978 and the Wildlife Act 1953. Conservation Services Levies provide a rare example in the global fishing industry of a transparent and accountable process, requiring the industry to pay at least part of the true environmental costs of its operation. It would be premature to suggest that the introduction of these levies has achieved a resolution of the various interactions between commercial fisheries and protected species of marine wildlife.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 1999

More about this publication?
  • The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.
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