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Greens will protect Māui dolphins

3 April 2017

EMBARGOED UNTIL MONDAY, APRIL 3, 12:01AM

Greens will protect Māui dolphins and the livelihoods of those fishing in their sanctuary

The Green Party is committed to protecting Māui dolphins and ensuring the affected fishing industry is supported to adopt dolphin-friendly fishing methods.

WWF commissioned economic forecasters BERL to estimate the cost of transitioning to dolphin-safe fishing in Māui habitat along the North Island’s west coast. BERL estimate it could be done for as little as $26 million dollars. Only 63 Māui dolphins are believed to remain.

“The Green Party will protect our Māui dolphins and ensure a just transition for the people most affected by much needed changes to their fishing methods,” Green Party environment spokesperson, Eugenie Sage said today.

“The West Coast North Island Marine Mammal Sanctuary protecting Māui dolphins needs to be expanded to better match where they live and lethal fishing methods, like set nets and trawling, need to be excluded from this area to protect them.

“The National Government has done little to ensure Māui dolphins not only escape extinction, but thrive. National have also recently announced plans to open up just over a third of the current Māui marine sanctuary to oil prospecting and drilling.

“National refuse to protect the things we love.

“In 2014, the Greens committed to spending $20 million over three years to help protect the livelihoods of affected fishers by supporting them to adopt dolphin-safe fishing methods.

“The BERL report is a very useful analysis of the estimated costs of supporting fishers to change their methods. The Greens will review the size of our funding commitment when we are in Government and have more information,” said Ms Sage.

The Green Party has also launched an on-line petition to protect Māui dolphins from oil drilling.


ends

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