New Zealand White Shark Regulations and Acts

Since 2007 the white shark has been absolutely protected under New Zealand law.

Under the laws and legislation now covering white (pointer) sharks in New Zealand the Regulations state:

  • It is illegal to actively hunt/fish for white sharks in New Zealand waters.
  • No person may use a New Zealand ship, or a tender of that ship, on the high seas to take a white pointer shark.
  • It is illegal to deliberately harm or kill in New Zealand waters.
  • It is illegal to trade in any white shark products in New Zealand.
  • Any white shark accidentally caught on line or in a net (commercial or otherwise) must be released unharmed.
  • If a white shark is accidentally caught as commercial bycatch and found dead, Department of Conservation (DoC) must be notified and the body be disposed of by DoC.

A person convicted of breaching the prohibition may be fined up to $100,000.

The following are direct links to the Fisheries Acts and Regulations concerning white sharks in New Zealand:

Wildlife (White Pointer Shark) Order 2007

Fisheries (White Pointer Shark—High Seas Protection) Regulations 2007

Wildlife 1953  (Part 1, Protection of Wildlife; Section 7BA (Marine Species); Schedule 7A-Chordata/Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fishes)—White pointer shark (Carcharodon carcharias)

On the worldwide scene, the white pointer is listed by CITES (Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species) under Appendix II.   The CITES Appendices to the Convention are lists of species afforded different levels or types of protection from over-exploitation.   Appendix I lists species that are the most endangered among CITES-listed animals and plants.  They are threatened with extinction and CITES prohibits international trade in specimens of these species except when the purpose of the import is not commercial, for instance for scientific research.    Appendix II lists species that are not necessarily now threatened with extinction but that may become so unless trade is closely controlled. International trade in specimens of Appendix-II species may be authorized by the granting of an export permit or re-export certificate. No import permit is necessary for these species under CITES (although a permit is needed in some countries that have taken stricter measures than CITES requires).  Permits or certificates should only be granted if the relevant authorities are satisfied that certain conditions are met, above all that trade will not be detrimental to the survival of the species in the wild.   (CITES)

CITES, Appendix II

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