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Hector’s Protection Needed

The discovery of a professionally filletted Hector’s dolphin carcass in Westport underlines the need for greater protection for this rare marine mammal, the Worldwide Fund for Nature stated today.

There are only 3-4,000 South Island Hector’s dolphins, and the North Island Hector’s dolphin is even rarer – there may be only a hundred, making it the rarest marine dolphin in the world.

“As a result of WWF’s awareness raising campaign, the Ministry of Fisheries is looking into management options to protect the North Island Hector’s dolphin. We applaud this, and we hope the process will speed up in light of the South Island incident”, said WWF Chief Executive Jo Breese.

“Currently the South Island Hector’s dolphin is protected by the Banks Penninsula Marine Mammal Sanctuary, but there is no effective protection for the West Coast population.”

“We support the Green Party in its call for restrictions on set netting in Hector’s dolphin habitats throughout New Zealand. WWF-NZ has already proposed this for the North Island Hector’s dolphin.”

ENDS

For further information:

Megan Huber, Communications Officer, WWF. Tel: (04) 499-2932 megan.huber@wwf.org.nz


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