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Source: Department of Conservation

Date:  20 April 2021

The sanctuary proposal will address the rapid decline in bottlenose dolphins and proposes measures to protect all marine mammals in the Bay.

“Research shows Te Pēwhairangi (Bay of Islands) has uniquely high levels of vessel and human interaction with bottlenose dolphins which is disrupting normal behaviours critical for survival, such as resting and feeding,” says Dr Cat Peters, Senior Ranger, Biodiversity (Marine).

The Sanctuary includes proposed restrictions of:

  • not being in the water (ie. swimming) within 400m of marine mammals in Te Pēwhairangi (Bay of Islands);
  • vessels maintaining a 400m distance from marine mammals in Te Pēwhairangi (Bay of Islands); and
  • a 5 knot speed limit for vessels in two smaller marine mammal safe zones.

How to make a submission

Visit for details on the proposal, including how to make a submission.


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