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Global plight of mammals plays out in NZ courts

7 October 2008

Global plight of mammals plays out in NZ courts

Green Party MP Metiria Turei says the Red List released today by the highly respected International Union for Conservation of Nature shows there have been very few improvements for New Zealand's marine mammals.

"The report shows that mammals around the world are increasingly endangered as a consequence of human activity, and New Zealand is no exception." Mrs Turei says.

"Our Hector's and Maui's dolphins are already classified as endangered and critically endangered species, according to the IUCN, but ever greater commercial pressures are pushing the dolphins towards extinction.

"As we speak, the Fishing Industry is taking court action to overturn the fishing restrictions which would have at least stabilised the population of these unique animals.

"The Green Party has campaigned for many years to have strong action taken on behalf of these critically endangered dolphins, and it looked like we - and the many community organisations and individuals who also demanded action - had won a significant improvement.

"But the actions of New Zealand's own fishing industry illustrate the self-interest that is harming the future of mammals around the world - and the short-sightedness that threatens the industry's own long term sustainability.

"Today's Red List increases the urgency to introduce early in the next term of Parliament the Marine Mammals Protection Act Amendment Bill that I have drafted and to advance marine conservation measures like this and the stalled Marine Reserves Bill."

ENDS


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