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Hector's dolphin threatened by selfishness

1 November 2001

Attention Environment Reporter

Hector's dolphin threatened by selfishness

Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said she was saddened that the fishing industry has managed to seriously reduce the area covered by a ban on set net fishing, which was introduced to protect the Hector's dolphin.

There are only around 100 North Island Hector's dolphins remaining and Ms Fitzsimons said the success of the fishing industry in substantially watering down the ban on set netting could be the end for the species.

"This year there have been three recorded deaths of Hector's dolphins - almost certainly after being tangled in set nets - and modelling shows that if we lose just one every five years as a result of fishing, this beautiful dolphin is likely to become extinct," said Ms Fitzsimons.

"This move by the fishing industry is putting short-term economics over ecology and directly threatens the future of the Hector's dolphin."

Ms Fitzsimons said the fishermen who opposed the original set net ban needed to find new ways to fish that didn't threaten endangered species instead of frustrating efforts to save them.

"I challenge these fishermen to think what they will tell their children when they can no longer see any Hector's dolphin and they ask where they have gone and why," said Ms Fitzsimons.

ENDS


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