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Maui dolphin—act now or lose a species

Maui dolphin—act now or lose a species

Victoria University expert Dr Wayne Linklater on measures needed to save the Maui dolphin.

“The ongoing decline of Maui dolphin indicates current measures are not sufficient to protect the breeding population.

“If we lose Maui dolphin it is likely that the effects will cascade through the food chain to radically change the community of plants and animals off our coasts. The loss of fish predators like dolphin can actually reduce ocean productivity for fisheries in the long-term. We need to understand that the loss of dolphin can be a bad thing for the economy as well as a bad thing for the quality of our environment and our enjoyment of it.

“The slowness with which the fishing industry and our political representatives act is a part of the problem. Calls for immediate action are warranted. We must act now not just because an early response has a better chance of rescuing a species, but because we can learn by acting. Even if measures prove ineffective we have learned what else might be tried. There is a solution out there somewhere. We are not going to find it by sitting on our hands. We can’t learn if we choose not to act.

“The genetic health of the population requires a larger number of breeding individuals. Every individual lost is a loss of the capacity of the species to recover and sustain itself. We have delayed long enough now to find ourselves in an untenable position. We act now or we lose a species. There is only one right choice. Act.“

ends

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