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IWC says Govt must act for survival of Maui’s dolphins

2 July 2013

International Whaling Commission says Govt must act for survival of Maui’s dolphins

The Government needs to urgently implement the recommendations of the International Whaling Commission’s (IWC) Scientific Committee which has expressed ‘extreme concern’ over the plight of the critically endangered Maui’s dolphins, the Green Party said today.

“The Government is recklessly risking the extinction of the Maui’s dolphin by allowing lethal fishing methods to be used in Maui’s dolphin habitat,” said Green Party oceans spokesperson Gareth Hughes.

“The Government should listen to the scientific consensus that gillnet and trawl fisheries need to be closed in all areas where Maui’s dolphins live.”

Mr Hughes was responding to a new report by the IWC’s Scientific Committee which recommends “that rather than seeking further scientific evidence, the highest priority should be given to immediate management actions that will lead to the elimination of bycatch of Maui’s dolphins. This includes full closures of any fisheries within the range of Maui’s dolphins that are known to pose a risk of bycatch…”

“Maui’s dolphins the world’s most endangered dolphin are only found in New Zealand, and they need greater protection immediately,” said Mr Hughes.

“The Government is sitting on its hands. We can’t afford to lose even one more Maui’s dolphin, but the Conservation Minister still hasn’t released the over-due Maui’s dolphin threat management plan.

“Even the IWC’s Scientific Committee says that we don’t need more science; we need the Government to take immediate action to protect the estimated 55 adult Maui’s dolphins remaining.”

Reference:
IWC report, see page 65: http://www.greens.org.nz/misc-documents/report-international-whaling-commissions-scientific-committee-2013

ENDS

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