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


Fishing industry must follow through on dolphin protection

NABU: New Zealand’s fishing industry must follow through on Māui dolphin protection

Berlin – Last week fishing companies Sanford and Moana New Zealand announced plans to eliminate fishing-related threats to Māui dolphins across their range in a bid to prevent their extinction. But the industry’s plans will miss their mark unless they are rolled out across the area’s entire fishing fleet, and their scope and schedule of implementation are brought in line with scientific necessity.

Māui dolphins are the world’s smallest and rarest marine dolphin. Since the 1970s, entanglement in fishing nets has driven down the population by more than 95 percent. Only a tiny remnant population of some 50 individuals survives off the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island.

Sanford and Moana New Zealand’s plans include the end of gillnet fishing under the companies’ catch entitlements in part of the dolphins’ northern habitat from October 2017. The companies plan to continue their trawl fishery across of the dolphins’ home until at least December 2022.

“The survival of a quarter of the world’s mammals is threatened,” says Thomas Tennhardt, CEO of NABU International. “New Zealand’s Māuis dolphins share life at the very cusp of extinction with animals such as lowland gorillas, Sumatran tigers and Javan rhinos, which far outnumber them. Globally, at least 308,000 whales, dolphins and porpoises die from entanglement in fishing gear each year. Gillnetting and trawling are known to pose the greatest risk. While we welcome Sanford and Moana New Zealand’s gesture, the proposed timeframe and range of measures proposed will not prevent the demise of New Zealand’s most endangered inhabitants.”

“More than 100 commercial gillnet vessels operate in the dolphins’ habitat,” explains NABU International’s Head of Endangered Species Conservation, Dr Barbara Maas. “Sanford and Moana New Zealand’s proposals would merely reduce this number by five boats ten months from now.”

“Because there are no recognised dolphin safe trawling methods, trawling by the companies’ and other inshore fleets is set to continue across 95 percent of the dolphins’ home for a further six years. Our calculations indicate that Māui dolphin numbers will drop well below 30 by 2020, the equivalent of just 7 breeding females. We simply can’t wait if we want to ensure Māuis survive or ‘recover and expand’, as envisaged by Sanford and Moana New Zealand.”

NABU International has been fighting for a science-based conservation regime for Māui dolphins for many years. This includes raising awareness that fishing poses a serious threat to the dolphins’ survival and their habitat boundaries from Maunganui Bluff in the north to Whanganui in the south out to a water depth of 100m, including harbours. To ensure the dolphins’ survival, the organisation has also been advocating the development of a socio-economic compensation strategy to support the transition of affected fishermen to alternative livelihoods or sustainable, selective fishing methods that do not impact Māuis dolphins or other protected species.

“We commend Sanford and Moana New Zealand for being the first fishing companies to acknowledge these scientific realities,” says Maas. “Unless this new basis of understanding is translated into comprehensive action, trawling and gillnet will continue to decimate New Zealand’s beleaguered dolphins.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Mosque Shooting Response: Ban On Military Style Semi-Automatics And Assault Rifles

Military style semi-automatics and assault rifles will be banned in New Zealand under stronger new gun laws announced today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says... Related parts used to convert these guns into MSSAs are also being banned, along with all high-capacity magazines.

“An amnesty will be put in place for weapons to be handed in, and Cabinet has directed officials to develop a buyback scheme...All semi-automatic weapons used during the terrorist attack on Friday 15 March will be banned." More>>

RNZ Report: No Mention Of Right-Wing Threat In 10 Years Of GCSB/SIS Docs
There is not one specific mention of the threat posed by white supremacists or right-wing nationalism in 10 years of public documents from the Security Intelligence Service or the GCSB. More>>

Two Minute Silence Friday: Auckland Mosques Opening Their Doors To All
Mosques in the four corners of Auckland will open their doors on Friday night for people of all faiths to gather in remembrance of the 50 lives lost in the Christchurch shootings. More>>

For the Latest: Scoop Search - Christchurch

Gordon Campbell: On The School Climate Strike

Locally, the school strike has won a ton of support for bringing climate change to the fore. Yet the strikers don't want mere expressions of support. They want action. More>>


"Grabbed And Struck In The Face": Greens Co-Leader Attacked While Walking To Work

Green Party co-leader James Shaw was the victim of an unprovoked attack when he was walking to work in Wellington. More>>


████████ ████ ███: Latest OIA Statistics Released

The latest statistics cover 110 agencies that collectively completed 18,106 official information requests between July and December 2018, a 16.4% increase on the 15,551 requests for the previous six months. More>>


'Hit And Run' Inquiry: New Legal Action Over Secrecy

The lawyer representing the Afghan villagers in the inquiry into Operation Burnham has launched legal proceedings calling for a judicial review in the investigation. More>>


From Hydro Plan To...: Mokihinui River Land To Join Kahurangi National Park

A total of 64,400 hectares of conservation land in the Mokihinui River catchment on the West Coast north of Westport, including 15 km of riverbed, is being added to Kahurangi National Park. “Adding this area, roughly half the size of Auckland City, to Kahurangi is the largest addition of land to an existing national park in New Zealand’s history,” Eugenie Sage said. More>>





InfoPages News Channels