Have your say on annual plan that contains the research proposals that will be subject to cost recovery from the commercial fishing industry. Submissions closed 8 June 2020.

Update July 2020: CSP will now run a procurement and tendering process to contract the 2020-21 projects.

View the approved CSP Annual Plan 2020/21 (PDF, 1,870K).

Threats to marine protected species 

New Zealand is a maritime nation with the 4th largest exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the world. Our waters are the home of many protected species:

  • over 40 cetaceans (whales and dolphins),
  • nine pinnipeds (seals and sea lions), and
  • more than 80 seabird species have been recorded, as well as a diverse range of corals, fish and reptiles.

These waters also provide for important commercial, recreational and customary fishing resources.

Marine protected species can be threatened by commercial fishing.

  • Direct impacts include being caught, injured, or killed in nets or on hooks. Benthic species may also be impacted by bottom trawlers and other fishing methods operating on or near the seabed.
  • Indirect impacts such as habitat modification, food competition and behaviour modification of protected species may also occur. These impacts may compromise the viability or recovery of protected species populations.

Managing fishing related threats to marine species

Role of Conservation Services Programme (CSP)

Central to defining and prioritising projects has been the use of the existing CSP. The programme is DOC’s primary mechanism to understand and address fishing related threats to protected species. 

CSP is legislated to:

  • undertake research to understand and address these impacts and
  • recover the costs of these 'conservation services' from the commercial fishing sector.

DOC's bycatch programme

The draft CSP Annual Plan 2020/21 is one component of DOC’s wider bycatch programme and describes those services proposed to be delivered as conservation services during the 2020/21 financial year.

DOC has established a more extensive fisheries bycatch programme as a result of the availability of additional funding through Biodiversity Budget 2018.

Other related work that is being conducted through DOC’s bycatch programme (but not levied as “conservation services”) includes, but is not limited to:

  • Hoiho recovery work
  • Antipodean albatross recovery work
  • Māui & Hector’s dolphin recovery work
  • The expansion of the existing protected species liaison officer work
  • The establishment of a recreational fishing bycatch programme
  • Additional research into improved bycatch mitigation such as underwater setting devices in the bottom longline fishery
  • Expanded international collaboration to enhance complementary bycatch reduction initiatives beyond New Zealand waters, such as support of Pacific port-based bycatch outreach programmes

For a summary of the legal basis of levied work described in this Annual Plan, refer to the CSP Strategic Statement (PDF, 6,310K).

Submissions received

The following submissions were received:

View a summary of submissions (PDF, 152K) including the DOC response to key points raised by submitters.


Conservation Services Programme
Department of Conservation
PO Box 10-420
Wellington 6143


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