Have your say on the annual plan that contains research proposals that will be subject to cost recovery from the commercial fishing industry. Submissions closed at 5 pm on Wednesday, 15 May 2024.

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 marine species:

  • all marine mammals
  • all seabirds (except black backed gulls)
  • all marine reptiles
  • black corals (all species in the order Antipatharia)
  • gorgonian corals (all species in the order Alcyonacea)
  • stony corals (all species in the order Scleractinia)
  • hydrocorals (all species in the family Stylasteridae)
  • nine fish (deepwater nurse shark, white pointer shark, whale shark, basking shark, oceanic white-tip shark, manta ray, spinetail devil ray, giant grouper and spotted black grouper)

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

Marine protected species can be threatened by commercial fishing via:

  • 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)

The Conservation Services Programme (CSP) is DOC’s primary mechanism to understand and address fishing related threats to protected species. A proportion of funding required to investigate and mitigate the impacts of fishing on protected species of marine wildlife (Conservation Services) is recovered from the domestic commercial fishing industry as outlined in the CSP Annual Plan.

CSP is legislated to undertake and recover the costs of research related to Conservation Services from the commercial fishing sector. Under the Fisheries Act 1996, Conservation Services are defined as outputs produced in relation to the adverse effects of commercial fishing on protected species, as agreed between the Minister responsible for the administration of the Conservation Act 1987 and the Director-General of the Department of Conservation, including:

(a) research relating to those effects on protected species:

(b) research on measures to mitigate the adverse effects of commercial fishing on protected species:

(c) the development of population management plans under the Wildlife Act 1953 and the Marine Mammals Protection Act 1978

Download the draft plan

Draft Conservation Services Programme Annual Plan 2024/25 (PDF, 766K)

Make a submission

Email submissions to by 5 pm on Wednesday, 15 May 2024.

Stakeholder submissions will be used to finalise the draft Conservation Services Programme Annual Plan 2024/25. The draft plan will then be presented to the Minister of Conservation for consideration and, if agreed, approval.


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


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