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Govt fails Maui’s dolphins and risks extinction

25 November 2013

Govt fails Maui’s dolphins and risks extinction

The National Government’s protections for Maui’s dolphins won’t stop their population decline to extinction, the Green Party said today.

“New Zealanders who love and want to protect our endangered Maui’s dolphins will be dismayed at the inadequate protections the Government announced today,” said Green Party oceans spokesperson Gareth Hughes.
Mr Hughes was responding to reports that the Government has decided to make permanent the interim set net protection measures around the Taranaki coast, to adopt the proposal to ban the use of set nets from between two and seven nautical miles from the coast between Pariokariwa Point and the Waiwhakaiho River, and to implement additional measures applied to other marine activities.
“The National Government is recklessly risking the extinction of the Maui’s dolphin. The Government’s measures will still allow deadly fishing methods to be used in areas of Maui’s dolphin habitat,” said Mr Hughes.

“The Government is still allowing the use of deadly trawl nets and set nets within parts of the West Coast North Island marine mammal sanctuary where dolphins could swim.

“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, out to the 100 metre depth contour,” said Mr Hughes.

The International Whaling Commission’s 2012 Scientific Committee, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and the Society for Marine Mammology, which has 2,000 scientists, have called for all areas where these dolphins are found to be closed to gillnets and trawl nets out to the 100 metre depth contour.

“We can’t afford to kill even one more Maui’s dolphin,” said Mr Hughes.

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

ENDS

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