You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Dolphin's death linked to illegal set-net

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 27/06/2017

Illegal recreational set-netting is believed to have been responsible for the death of a Hector's dolphin on the West Coast.

A member of public found the dead dolphin on Blaketown beach in Greymouth in March, a discovery that led to the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Department of Conservation launching an investigation.

MPI manager of compliance investigations Gary Orr says investigators spoke to commercial fishers, service stations, net makers and sellers, and iwi.

"Reviewing the pathology report and examining data and environmental considerations, we have concluded that this animal's death was very likely to have been the result of the dolphin becoming fatally entangled in an illegal recreational set-net," he said.

"The type of deep and narrow lacerations on its body is consistent with monofilament net, which is used by recreational fishers, rather than trawl mesh, which is used by commercial fishers."

Under the Marine Mammals Protection Act, anyone who kills or injures a marine mammal must report the event.

Despite speaking to a large number of people, Mr Orr said the nearly three-month-long investigation had not been able to identify the individual or individuals responsible.

He said the area where the dolphin was found is subject to a total ban on set-netting.

MPI has appealed to anyone who may have seen anything suspicious around the Taramaku River mouth on February 10 to 11 to get in contact.

The ministry is continuing to investigate the death of a Hector's dolphin found near Banks Peninsula in March.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon