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Marine Science



Sanford welcomes dolphin transition plan. Sanford Limited, New Zealand’s oldest and largest seafood company, says it is pleased to see a transition plan for affected fishers has been included as part of the new protections for dolphins announced by Government.

Sanford has been working to protect Maui dolphin off the west coast of the North Island for many years and in 2016 it introduced its Maui Dolphin Protection Plan in partnership with fishing company Moana and with WWF New Zealand. This plan was revisited and revitalised in 2019 when all three organisations developed Option 5, their alternative to the proposals in the Threat Management Plan, the final version of which has just been announced.

Sanford CEO Volker Kuntzsch says when they saw the draft of the TMP, all three organisations felt there had to be “a fifth way”. “Our concern about the TMP as it stood, was that the proposal in 2019 did not take account of the communities where fishing is a vital part of the local economy and culture. We, like Moana and WWF, felt there had to be a way to balance their needs with effective ways to keep Maui and other marine mammals safe.”

“We are delighted to see that a transition plan for those who may lose their livelihoods because of these new measures, is part of the Government’s plan. It is absolutely the right thing to do. The changes for set net fishing are extensive and fishers will need assistance as a result. We are still working through the full operational impact of the announcement both for our direct operations and for those who supply fish to Sanford.”

Sanford notes there are other aspects of Option 5 that seem to have been included in the just announced TMP, such as cameras on fishing vessels in the South Island.

Chief Operating Officer Clement Chia says Sanford is very supportive of transparency. “We are pleased to have cameras on our vessels operating off the West Coast of the North Island and we welcome news that there will be an expansion to on-board camera programmes into the South.”

Sanford is also welcoming the news that the Government will be supporting more investigation into toxoplasmosis. Mr Chia says “many people are unaware of the deadly impact of this disease. More research is needed and the measures announced today by Ministers Sage and Nash are welcome.”

Photo courtesy: Sanford Ltd