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Ban extension small step in fight to save Maui’s dolphin

Conservation Spokesperson

6 September 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT
Ban extension small step in fight to save Maui’s dolphin

Belated moves by the Government to protect New Zealand’s few remaining Maui dolphin are to be applauded, but may have come too late to save the species, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.

“The government’s response to warnings that continued inaction to protect this critically endangered species could lead to their extinction has been extraordinarily slow.

“Its refusal to vote for additional protections at the International Union for Conservation of Nature conference in Korea last year and its unending forelock-tugging to the commercial fishing industry demonstrated exactly where its priorities weren’t.

“That Nick Smith has finally seen fit to extend the set net ban in Taranaki is definitely a positive move, but with just 55 of these dolphins left it may prove too little, too late.

“What was needed was a more comprehensive package, taking in all of the areas where Maui dolphins are present, along with measures to address unsustainable fishing practices.”

Ms Dyson said Labour is committed to doing all it can to help save the Maui’s dolphin.

“That includes a phase-out of destructive fishing methods such as bottom-trawling and set netting.”


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