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Vote for healthy seas and dolphins

Vote for healthy seas and dolphins

WDC (Whale and Dolphin Conservation), NABU International and Maui’s and Hector’s Dolphin Defenders.

Today, a new revealing Voter’s Guide for Thriving Seas and Dolphins shows how prepared New Zealand political parties are to save Hector's and near extinct Māui dolphins.

Over eighty percent of New Zealanders want safe and protected waters for our unique dolphins, which have been in steady decline since the 1970s when nylon fishing net use became widespread.

The majority of political parties have responded well. We’re still waiting for National and Act to move on the election issue.

The Internet Mana and Labour parties offer the strongest protection. They pledge to ban destructive, wasteful fishing methods across all areas of Hector’s and Māui dolphin habitat, including the conservation corridor across Cook Strait, which is vital for Māui dolphin survival. The Green Party focuses only on the North Island Māui dolphins, with fewer than 50 individuals left. The Māori Party is engaging with this issue seriously, and NZ First and Conservatives are all for transitioning to more selective, sustainable fishing methods.

“The dolphins’ plight has brought together scientists, iwi, recreational fishers, the tourism industry and kiwis from all walks of life. Our comprehensive summary reveals a major breakthrough in our efforts to save New Zealand’s dolphins and provides an easy visual for voters,” says Barbara Maas from NABU International.

Gemma McGrath, of Whale and Dolphin Conservation adds: “The majority of political parties recognise the need for urgent action to avert extinction of Māui and reverse the decline of Hector’s dolphins. The combination of parties voted into the next Government will decide if Māui dolphins survive into the foreseeable future and if our seas can get back on a healthy track. Banning those fishing nets would restore our dolphins and inshore ecosystems to their former glory.”

The National Party has made it clear that they have no intention of improving protection for Māui or Hector’s dolphins. After protracted and lengthy public consultations, which wasted taxpayer’s funds and argued against the international scientific experts, the current government added a mere 3 percent to protected areas for Māui dolphins, which remain vulnerable to extinction in more than 80 percent of their home.

Protection for Hector’s dolphins has not improved at all under National government, despite continued fatalities in fishing nets off Kaikoura and other parts of the South Island. Appallingly the Government has actually shrunk protected areas for Hector’s dolphins.

“We’re on the brink of losing these taonga. Not only are our dolphins in serious trouble, so are our land, seas and people,” says Linda Robinson, Vice-Chair of New Zealand based Maui’s and Hector’s Dolphin Defenders. “We must vote for our future; the future for our tamariki and mokopuna.”

ENDS

Voters_Guide_for_Thriving_Dolphins_and_Seas.pdf

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