Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


World’s top dolphin scientists urge NZ govt to act now

For immediate release

World’s top dolphin scientists urge NZ govt to act now or Maui’s will be extinct in 20 years

Some of the world’s leading whale, dolphin and porpoise scientists have expressed their ‘extreme concern’ about the survival of New Zealand’s Maui’s dolphin, urging the government to take immediate action to ensure ‘full protection of Maui’s in all areas throughout their habitat’.

The Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) acknowledged in its 2013 report, released this weekend, that Maui’s will decline to just 10 adult breeding females in six years and become functionally extinct in less than 20 years—unless their full range is protected from gillnetting and trawling. This followed a similar call from the IWC in 2012.

Global conservation organisation WWF presented a paper to the IWC Scientific Committee 65th meeting in Jeju, Korea in June that highlighted the lack of progress from New Zealand to save the last estimated 55 Maui’s dolphins.

WWF-New Zealand’s Executive Director, Chris Howe, said: “One year after the IWC urged immediate action to protect our critically endangered dolphins, it is unacceptable that Maui’s are still at risk of dying needlessly while we wait for adequate protection.

“The government needs to step up now to do everything in its power to save Maui’s dolphins. We call on Conservation Minister Nick Smith and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy to announce permanent measures that remove fishing gear which kills dolphins from their waters, and help affected fishermen adopt dolphin-friendly methods. Anything less will not give the species a fighting chance at survival.”

The government announced interim protection measures in June 2012, but dangerous fishing activity is still allowed to continue in parts of Maui’s habitat, including off the Taranaki coast and inside harbours. Eight months ago a public consultation on the Threat Management Plan for Maui’s dolphin closed, yet the government has yet to make a decision on protecting them.


Scientists estimate that over 95% of unnatural Maui’s deaths are caused by entanglement and drowning in gillnet or trawl fishing. An expert panel convened by the government in 2012 estimated that around 5 Maui’s are killed each year in fishing nets, a rate 75.5 times what the population can withstand.


Howe said: “The world is watching and waiting for New Zealand to take action to save these small and critically endangered dolphins. Both the survival of Maui’s and our international reputation is on the line.”


Ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On Tiwai Point (And Saying “No” In Greece)

Its hard to see how Rio Tinto’s one month delay in announcing its intentions about the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter is a good sign for (a) the jobs of the workers affected or (b) for the New Zealand taxpayer. More>>

ALSO:

Half Empty: Dairy Product Prices Extend Slide To Six-Year Low

Dairy product prices continued their slide, paced by whole milk power, in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, weakening to the lowest level in six years. More>>

ALSO:

Copper Broadband: Regulator Set To Keep Chorus Pricing Largely Unchanged

The Commerce Commission looks likely to settle on a price close to its original decision on what telecommunications network operator Chorus can charge its customers, though it probably won’t backdate any update. More>>

ALSO:

Lower Levy For Safer Cars: ACC Backtracks On Safety Assessments

Dog and Lemon: “The ACC has based the entire levy system on a set of badly flawed data from Monash University. This Monash data is riddled with errors and false assumptions; that’s the real reason for the multiple mistakes in setting ACC levies.” More>>

ALSO:

Fast Track: TPP Negotiations Set To Accelerate, Groser Says

Negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership will accelerate in July, with New Zealand officials working to stitch up a deal by the month's end, according to Trade Minister Tim Groser. More>>

ALSO:

Floods: Initial Assessment Of Economic Impact

Authorities around the region have compiled an initial impact assessment for the Ministry of Civil Defence, putting the estimated cost of flood recovery at around $120 million... this early estimate includes social, built, and economic costs to business, but doesn’t include costs to the rural sector. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news