Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the Department of Conservation (DOC) and Fisheries New Zealand are postponing public consultation on the proposed network of marine protection for the southeast South Island.
Both agencies recognise the lockdown under alert level 4 may limit people’s ability to effectively participate in the 2-month consultation process, which was due to end on 17 April.
The proposed network includes 6 marine reserves, where marine life would be fully protected and fishing banned, 5 marine protected areas, which would impose a range of restrictions to fishing, and one kelp protection area where commercial harvest of bladder kelp would be prohibited. There is currently no marine protection in this area.
All completed submissions and those still in progress through the Public Voice online submission portal will be saved, as will submissions sent via email or post.
DOC and Fisheries New Zealand will inform people as to when consultation on the proposed marine protected areas will recommence.
For more information see the Fisheries New Zealand website.