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Maui’s death highlights how close species is to extinction

Maui’s death highlights how close species is to extinction

The apparent death of a Maui’s dolphin near Dargaville is deeply worrying given how close the species already is to extinction, said WWF- NZ Marine Species Advocate Milena Palka.

“With only 55 of these amazing animals left, every death is a concern and needs to be treated very seriously, said Ms Palka.

The cause of death is currently being investigated by the Department of Conservation.

“While we don’t yet know how this death occurred, what we do know is that the Maui’s dolphin is on the brink of extinction and the Government needs to be doing everything it can to protect these animals.

“Maui’s dolphins need to be protected across their entire range, and the use of gillnets needs to end.

“The Government needs to help fishers transition to sustainable practices such as the use of dolphin-friendly fishing gear."

Maui’s live only along the west coast of the North Island and just 55 individuals over the age of one are estimated to survive.  Net fishing, the biggest threat to their survival, is only banned in some parts of their range. 

WWF believes that a genuine and comprehensive sanctuary, prohibiting harmful fishing practices and placing a moratorium on risky marine mining activities, from Maunganui Bluff to the Whanganui river mouth, including harbours, out to 100 metres deep is needed to save the species.


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