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IWC Scientific Committee calls for action to save Maui’s

IWC Scientific Committee calls for action to save Maui’s

The Government needs to take action to save Maui’s dolphins from extinction according to a report released today by the International Whaling Commission's Scientific Committee.

“This report confirms that Maui’s dolphins are at risk of extinction and that they need to be protected across their range for them to have a chance at survival, said WWF-NZ Marine Species Advocate Milena Palka.

The key findings of the IWC scientific committee are:

• Reiterating the extreme concern about the decline of such a small population
• Calling for closure of set-net and trawling fisheries throughout the range of Maui’s habitat from Maunganui bluff to Whanganui river.

“It is time for the Government to listen to science, reason and the IWC, we need to protect the last 55 Maui’s dolphins across their range before it’s too late.

“New Zealand prides itself on its international reputation and has successfully fought for protection of whales through the IWC, now it's time to listen. If we are to continue to have credible standing at the IWC when we call for protection of whales then we need to listen to them on Maui’s dolphins as well, said Ms Palka.

“The world is watching us, we need to do the right thing and save these dolphins.

“The science is very clear - we have heard the same thing from the IWC, International Union for Conservation of Nature, the Society for Marine Mammology, and the Government’s own risk assessment panel; Maui’s need protection across their range.

“The government needs to support fishers to move to dolphin-friendly fishing practices instead of using them as an excuse for not protecting Maui’s dolphins."

The IWC Scientific Committee report will be formally submitted to the International Whaling Commission at its meeting in Slovenia from 11 to 14 September this year which will then decide whether to formally adopt these recommendations in their final recommendation report.

A copy of the report can be found at: https://archive.iwc.int/pages/search.php?search=%21collection73&offset=0&order_by=relevance&sort=DESC&archive=0&go=up&k=

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