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Greens Welcome Moves To Save Hector's Dolphin

Greens Welcome Moves To Save Threatened Hector's Dolphin

Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons today welcomed Government measures to protect the critically endangered North Island Hector's dolphin as long overdue.

"With only around 100 of these dolphins left, action to save them from the effects of set net fishing was long overdue and we applaud the Government for the decision to ban the use of all set nets around a significant part of the North Island coast," said Ms Fitzsimons.

"Now is crunch time for this species and if this Government had done nothing to protect it, the species could have quite possibly been lost forever.

"New Zealand is fortunate to have the guardianship of this unique mammal. It is our responsibility to the rest of the world to protect it.

"One of the joys of our wild West Coast is to watch them playing," she said.

"I wish to pay tribute to scientists Liz Slooten and Steve Dawson who have studied these dolphins, Davis Apiti and his iwi at Raglan who have battled to protect them, and environmentalists and New Zealanders everywhere who have made saving the Hector's dolphin their cause."

Ms Fitzsimons also welcomed a commitment to place independent observers on every trawling and Danish seine vessels fishing in the areas where set netting will be banned.

"We can no longer afford to let the fishing industry police itself in this matter," she said.

"The Greens congratulate this Government - particularly Fisheries Minister Pete Hodgson and Conservation Minister Sandra Lee - for taking these long overdue and much needed steps to save the Hector's dolphin from extinction."

Ends




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