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Green statement on the Hector's Dolphin

17 March 2002
From Jeanette Fitzsimons - Green co-leader

The clock is fast running down on the North Island Hector's Dolphin and the Greens share the deep concern of New Zealanders everywhere that, if things do not change fast, we may soon lose this precious dolphin once and for all.

The deaths of three Hector's Dolphins over the last month as a result of set netting shows that we haven't a minute to lose. Yet the selfish efforts of the fishing industry in successfully overturning a Government ban on the use of set nets on the West Coast of the North Island earlier this month may well be the final nail in the coffin.

It is clear that the fishing industry cannot simply be left to monitor itself and the Greens are hopeful that the ban on set netting will again be in place in the not too distant future. We urge the Minister of Fisheries to make the same decision again and get this ban in place again. This time for good.

Experience has shown us only too clearly that set netting and the Hector's Dolphin cannot co-exist. It must be one or the other.

The Greens urge the public of New Zealand to get behind this special dolphin and to support the efforts to save it.

The North Island Hector's Dolphin is one of a kind. If it were to become extinct it would not just be New Zealand that would be the loser. The world will have lost yet another species.

We cannot afford to let this happen.

The main walk in support of the Hector's Dolphin will assemble at the Kentish at Waiuku at 3pm this Sunday 17 March. The full walk will start at Big Bay at 9am.

Green MP Keith Locke will be representing the Greens and delivering this statement.

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