Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Extinction warning as dolphin population hits record low


WWF- New Zealand media release

Maui’s the new Moa?

Extinction warning as dolphin population hits record low of 55 - WWF

Maui’s dolphins could soon suffer the same fate as our extinct moa unless urgent action is taken by the Government and fishing industry “to get nets out of the water”, warns WWF-New Zealand.

A new official population estimate for Maui’s dolphins, released today by the Department of Conservation, reveals there are likely to be just 55 adult dolphins left (1).

The revised count, based on sampling done by DNA profiling, indicates the population has declined significantly since the last population estimate of 111 which was published in 2005.

“The Maui’s population has been declining since the 1970s, and protection measures introduced in 2008 have not succeeded in turning the situation around. It is a national tragedy that our critically endangered dolphins are still dying needlessly in fishing nets. We need to act immediately to get nets out of the water, including harbours and estuaries, to protect these dolphins throughout their range,” says Rebecca Bird, WWF’s Marine Programme Manager.

Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson and Primary Industries Minister David Carter said in a statement released today that they are proposing added protection measures while a full review is done and that the Government has asked for a planned review of the Hectors and Maui’s Threat Management Plan to be brought forward from 2013 to this year (2).

Chris Howe, Executive Director of WWF-New Zealand, said in response to the Ministers’ statement, “We need to see the details of what is being proposed by the Government before we can comment on the specifics, although what is clear is that we need more extensive protection measures introduced throughout Maui’s historic range if we are to stop more dolphins dying. With a population this low, every individual is critical to the species’ survival.”

Maui’s dolphins are an in-shore species found only on the west coast of the North Island, and their current range extends from Taranaki to Dargaville. They are a subspecies of the South Island Hector’s dolphin; they share the same small size and distinctive rounded dorsal fins but are genetically distinct.

WWF is calling on the Government to ban set net fishing throughout Hector’s and Maui’s dolphins’ habitat, to prevent more dolphins dying needlessly in nets. The global conservation organisation is also campaigning for a government-led effective action plan for the recovery of these dolphins that identifies, manages and mitigates all other threats to the species, such as boat strike, pollution, coastal development, sand-mining and exploration for oil and gas.

Just last month, the then Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) reported the death of a Maui’s in a fishing net off the coast of Taranaki. WWF is encouraging all members of the public to report any sightings of a Maui’s to its dedicated hotline, 0800 4 MAUIS, to help scientists monitor the range and movements of these small and increasing rare dolphins.

Ms Bird says, “We can’t change our past to bring back species like the moa that are lost forever, but we must not, and will not, give up on our critically endangered dolphins. We know that solutions exist to save Maui’s, it is time the government acted on behalf of all New Zealanders to protect this precious national treasure. The world is watching.”

ENDS

Notes to editors
(1) You can download the Maui’s population abundance estimate from the Department of Conservation website here: http://www.doc.govt.nz/conservation/native-animals/marine-mammals/dolphins/mauis-dolphin/docs-work/mauis-dolphin-abundance-estimate/
(2) Ministers’ media release available here: http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/government-moves-further-protect-dolphins


About WWF
WWF-New Zealand is part of WWF, the global conservation organization. WWF-New Zealand works to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. Through WWF’s global reach, local presence and scientific rigour, it establishes innovative partnerships and seeks ambitious solutions for a living planet. For more information, visit wwf.org.nz

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Joint Statement: Establishment Of NZ-China Strategic Partnership

At the invitation of Governor-General Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Prime Minister The Rt Hon John Key of New Zealand, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China made a state visit to New Zealand from 19 to 21 November 2014.

During his visit, President Xi Jinping met with Governor-General Jerry Mateparae, and held talks with Prime Minister John Key. The leaders had an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of common interest. More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Savings Targets: Health Procurement Plan Changes Direction

Next steps in implementing DHB shared services programme Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the Government has agreed to explore a proposal put forward by DHBs to move implementation of the shared services programme to a DHB-owned vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

More on Health Policy:

Auckland Unification: 'No IT Cost Blowout' (Just More Expensive)

Following discussion of an update on Auckland Council’s Information Services Transformational Programme at today’s Finance and Performance Committee, council has released the report publicly. More>>

ALSO:

Other Expensive Things:

Gordon Campbell: On The SAS Role Against Islamic State, And Podemos

Only 25% of the US bombing runs are even managing to locate IS targets worth bombing. As the NYT explains at length, this underlines the need for better on-the-ground intelligence to direct the air campaign to where the bad guys have holed up... More>>

ALSO:

Public Service: Commission Calls For Answers On Handling Of CERA Harassment

EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Victory

So Andrew Little has won the leadership – by the narrowest possible margin – from Grant Robertson, and has already been depicted by commentators as being simultaneously (a) the creature of the trade unions and (b) the most centrist of the four candidates, which would be an interesting trick to see someone try in a game of Twister. More>>

ALSO:

China President Wishlists: Greens Welcome Xi, But Human Rights Need To Be On Agenda

“President Xi has made some progress on climate change, but he must also lift the Chinese government’s game on human rights issues,” Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said... It is important that our Government continues to urge the Chinese government to show restraint and respect human rights in both Tibet and the Xinjiang province.” More>>

ALSO:

Airport Security Breach: CAA Fines Minister

Minister Brownlee has been issued an infringement notice and is required to pay a $2000 infringement fine for breaching Civil Aviation Rule 19.357(b), which states no person may be in an airport security area without an appropriate identity card or document. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news