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New poll: Govt should support dolphin-friendly fishing

New poll: Government should support transition to dolphin-friendly fishing say majority

(Wellington, New Zealand) The Government needs to listen to the majority of New Zealanders who want them to support fishing companies to move to dolphin-friendly practices, said WWF today.

A Colmar-Brunton poll released today showed that 62% of New Zealanders think the Government should spend money to assist fishers to transition to dolphin-friendly practices. 21% of people did not support spending money, and 17 % didn’t know.

“The Government needs to stop using the fishing community as an excuse for not providing the full protection Maui’s dolphins need, said WWF New Zealand Head of Campaigns, Peter Hardstaff. 

“The fishing community needs support to transition away from practices that harm dolphins and the majority of New Zealanders agree the government should help. 

“No support has been provided to the companies affected by the limited extension to the set-net ban announced recently by the Government, added Mr Hardstaff.

“We need to find the best way to support the fishing communities who live onshore from the Maui’s habitat to help them transition to dolphin friendly practices. The Government has ignored them and used them as an excuse for half measures.

“WWF is keen to work with fishing communities affected to help look at alternatives so that both dolphins and jobs both have a secure future. 

“There are only 55 Maui’s dolphins left – we need to do everything the science tells us is required to save them from extinction but the cost of this should be shared by all New Zealanders, not just by fishers in the area.

“There is also a potential economic cost to letting Maui’s dolphins go extinct - it will damage the image of our NZ$1.56 billion fishing export industry, and New Zealand’s clean and green brand.”

WWF position is that Maui’s need to be protected throughout their range from harmful fishing practices and risky marine mining activities to ensure their survival.  This requires a genuine sanctuary from Maunganui Bluff to the Whanganui river mouth, including harbours, out to 100 metres deep.  

This position is drawn from the recommendations and analysis of the International Whaling Commission, International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Society of Marine Mammalogy, and the Risk Assessment Panel of scientists that the Government convened to provide advice on measures needed to save Maui’s dolphins. 



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