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Government delays cause dolphin death?


Government delays cause dolphin death?

A Maui's dolphin has been found dead yesterday evening at Bethells Beach, North of the Manukau Harbour entrance. This is tragic news because the rare Maui's dolphin is critically endangered as there are thought to be no more than 80 to 100 left alive today.

"WWF congratulated the Minister when he announced a ban on set netting to protect the dolphin in January. However, that decision has not been passed through cabinet and therefore is not currently being implemented," says Jo Breese, WWF Chief Executive. "We simply can not allow another death to occur. The government must act urgently, it has now been nearly six months since the decision was made and it still hasn't been implemented."

The dolphin has been sent to Massey University to determine the cause of death. WWF fears it will be fishing related.

Maui's dolphin is the world's rarest marine dolphin and only lives along our North Island West Coast between Dargaville and New Plymouth. WWF encourages the public to continue to use the WWF Strandings and Sightings Network to report sightings in both coastal and harbour areas. "The battle to protect the Maui's dolphin can not be done without the help of local communities", says Chris Howe, WWF Conservation Director.

"With such low numbers, just one death every 7 years will prevent the Maui's dolphin population from recovering", says Chris Howe. "This rate has been greatly exceeded in the last two years."

Notes:

- WWF has established the WWF Sightings and Strandings Network, with a toll free number, 0800 HECTORS (0800 432 867), to encourage people to report sightings of the Maui's dolphin.

- Maui's dolphin has been recognised as a new sub-species, and was formerly known as the North Island Hector's dolphin.


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