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Dolphin Decision Disappointing

Press Release from Aotearoa Fisheries Limited

Headline: Dolphin Decision Disappointing

30 May 2008

Aotearoa Fisheries Limited, the leading Maori commercial fishing company, said today that it was pleased to see the Government acknowledgement of the high cost imposed on the commercial fishing industry because of yesterday's decision to close fishing areas.

"When we submitted our views on the proposed Dolphin Threat Management Plan in October last year we made it clear that we are committed to the sustainable management of our fisheries and the protection of endangered sea mammals.

"We believe that the four mile set-net ban and one mile trawl ban introduced by Government and the industry in 2003 are effective measures that already provide necessary separation between commercial fishing and the endangered dolphin species," the chief executive of Aotearoa Fisheries Limited, Jeremy Fleming, said today.

"The main causes of mortality to Maui dolphins are predation by sharks and orcas, disease and the effects of pollution and plastic waste. I am concerned that the new restrictions announced by Minister Anderton yesterday will not have any real positive impact on the Maui dolphin population while they will definitely have a major adverse effect on our fishermen and their livelihoods."

"While we are not happy with the Minister's decision, we will continue to work with our fishers to protect endangered species and will work with the Ministry to minimise the cost to the industry of implementing the proposals. Now that the Minister has made the decision, he needs to consider how he intends to compensate the people and businesses that will carry the cost of his decision," Mr Fleming said.

ENDS

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