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Rarest marine dolphin threatened with extinction

October 26, 2001 - Wellington MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE USE

Fishing industry's court action threatens the world's rarest marine dolphin with extinction


The fishing industry's judicial review of the Minister of Fisheries' decision to save the North Island Hector's dolphin could help push them to extinction, says Forest and Bird. The review and interim orders mean that fishers can continue set-netting in important parts of the dolphin's range.

"These dolphins are on the brink of extinction - there are only 100 left," said Eric Pyle, Forest and Bird's Conservation Manager. "We are disappointed the fishing industry has taken this action, rather than cooperating to save the dolphins."

"Already this year three dolphins have died - most likely drowned in set-nets. Even one dolphin death per year from fishing could drive the population to extinction," said Mr Pyle. "Set-netting poses a real threat to the dolphins. It must stop."

"Rather than fighting the Minister of Fisheries, the fishing industry should work to save the world's rarest marine dolphin," said Mr Pyle.

ENDS


Contact: Barry Weeber, Senior Researcher, Tel: 025 622 7369. Eric Pyle, Conservation Manager, Tel. 04 385 7374, 025 227 8420.

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