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Full Protection for Great White Sharks Starts Today off Kiwi Coast; 'No Fisher Will Profit'

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- White pointer sharks will now be fully protected within the 200 nautical miles of water around New Zealand, and from fishing by New Zealand-flagged boats further afield, the Ministers of Conservation and Fisheries announced today.

Conservation Minister Chris Carter said despite the white pointer's reputation as a predator, it was vulnerable to fishing and becoming rarer throughout the world. "These majestic animals occur naturally in low numbers and, without protection, could be pushed to the brink of extinction. The Wildlife Act provides a strong deterrent against targeting great whites with a $250,000 fine and up to six months imprisonment as a maximum penalty."

Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton said the white pointer shark was not known to be targeted by commercial fishers but was occasionally taken as by-catch. "However, recreational fishers do occasionally target them because there is some demand for jaws and teeth as fishing trophies.

"No one wants to see an animal hunted to extinction for the sake of a jaw or a few teeth, or to be placed under pressure by accidental catch. Under these new regulations no fisher will be able to profit from taking a white pointer, and any fisher inadvertently catching one will have to return it to the sea, intact, and alive, if possible," Jim Anderton said.

However, it is still legal to use shark nets to protect swimmers around beaches in Dunedin, and fishers accidentally catching and killing white pointers will not be prosecuted, provided they register the death with authorities.

The Wildlife Act makes it illegal to hunt, kill or harm a white pointer shark within New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ - 200 nautical mile limit around New Zealand). It will also be illegal in New Zealand to possess or trade in any part of a white pointer shark. As well, New Zealand is a signatory to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals and has an obligation to prohibit the taking of white pointer sharks.

The species will be further protected on the high seas by the Fisheries Act, under which New Zealand-flagged boats will be prohibited from taking white pointer sharks while fishing outside the EEZ.

Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of, its staff or its advertisers.

Reader Comments

5 people have commented so far. cloud add your comment

At last, shows you guys are only 17 years behind Australia. In all seriousness congratulations to everybody who worked on this. The GW is a magnificent animal and needs as much protection as we can give it.
   comment# 1   - Paul · Reading, UK · Apr 2, 2007 @ 3:57pm

At last, Australia has 17 years of steady growth of GW populations. In all seriousness, it will be the swimmers, surfers and divers that will need protection. The current over-reaction will bread another.
   comment# 2   - Jack Sherwood · Australia · Apr 4, 2007 @ 7:07pm

Consider the aspect that a great white shark lives to almost 100yrs has anything from 50 to 70? babies a year..a whale or dolphin has 1 baby every 2-3yrs..there is no know enemy for the great white shark.. man has and is fishing the ocean at an alarming rate, it has been reported the good old fish and chips by the beach will become a rare meal in the near with greenhouse gases, you, us , man cannot abuse the natural system of this world and not upset the natural balance and expect the predatorial species to adjust to the ever diminishing lack of food for it in the ocean..look out what is next on the menu if we keep depleting theirs..look at our poor dingos on fraser island!! what do think is the reasoning in shooting a dingo looking for food..the two words "protected" and "exticnt" are to say the least poles apart.. dingos are becoming extinct.. great white sharks, kangaroos, cane toads..are not extinct, great white sahrks are protected so if your are taken or bitten or one of you family fall fatal to one of these many creatures seaching for food sources man has over indulged on,the government will and does not take any responsibility for as,as you know they are protected because...they are extinct,tell that to the cage divers off africa and south australia who pay mega dollars to berlie up and sit idley by in the safety of a cage to observe these,extinct creatures, pity the next diver without the luxury of a cage for protection.
   comment# 3   - judy winter · hervey bay australia · Apr 24, 2007 @ 4:47pm

what the hell are you talking about judy? cage diving does no harm and infact should be embraced, i cannot wait, in 2 years im going down to australia and going cage diving hopeing that i see a great white, i love this species and people that are attacked by them put themselves in danger, if i get bitten by a shark ill be glad to have such a kick rear orifice scar
   comment# 4   - Brent Sullivan · Portland, USA · Sep 23, 2008 @ 12:45pm

the great white is an animal that should be admired and respected not killed
   comment# 5   - samantha · nz auckland · Oct 4, 2008 @ 11:22pm
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