Call to Reject Marine Mining in Endangered Dolphin Sanctuary
WWF-New Zealand calls on Kiwis to Reject Marine Mining in Critically-Endangered Māui Dolphin Sanctuary
With only 63 adult Māui dolphins believed to be left in the entire world, WWF-New Zealand is encouraging Kiwis everywhere to pledge to reject the Marine Mining Exploration Permit and protect these precious taonga.
Commenting on the mining exploration permit that has recently been granted within the Māui dolphin sanctuary, WWF CEO Livia Esterhazy said:
"At WWF-New Zealand, we are shocked and deeply disappointed that this marine mining exploration permit has been granted inside Māui dolphin habitat. With only 63 adult dolphins left, this precious taonga is on the brink of extinction. Mining in their sanctuary is simply unacceptable."
"Māui dolphins live nowhere else on the planet and are only found on the West coast of the North Island. We have a responsibility to the world - and to our children - to do everything possible to not just help protect this last 63 dolphins, but to help them recover and thrive."
Livia continued: "While we understand that those applying for the permit and those granting the permit are simply following the letter of the law, you have to wonder whether they are thinking straight. It is a really bad idea to propose mining iron sands in this area, which is supposed to be a marine mammal sanctuary."
WWF calls on Ironsands Offshore Mining Ltd to do the right thing, drop this permit and leave our precious Māui dolphins in peace. If the company persists in pursuing the permit and developing a mining operation, the Department of Conservation must come to the defence of these amazing animals.
The Government also needs to take a cold hard look at the level of protection a marine mammal sanctuary provides. If sand mining is allowed inside a marine mammal sanctuary, that means the sanctuary can't be doing its job.
"This is the moment for Kiwis everywhere to stand up and tell the government that we're not OK with this. I believe that people in this country care deeply for our precious 63 remaining Māui dolphins. I'm asking everyone to take action to protect them by signing and then sharing our petition calling on the government to stop mining in the Māui dolphin sanctuary."