Media Release: EDS calls for urgent action to halt the catastrophic decline in Maui's dolphin numbers
The Department of Conservation today released a research report which estimates that there are now only 55 adult Maui's dolphins remaining.
"This is a perilously low number," said EDS Policy Director, Raewyn Peart. "Every effort must urgently be made to save the Maui's dolphin from extinction."
"EDS applauds the announcement by Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson and Primary Industries Minister David Carter that they are considering extending the set net ban south along the Taranaki coast. It is essential that this is put in place as soon as possible.
"We also need to ensure full observer coverage of any fishing vessels operating within the marine mammal sanctuary area. Without this measure, there is no certainty that the set net bans are being adhered to.
"In addition, the Auckland Council, Northland Regional Council and Waikato Regional Council will need to urgently strengthen provisions in their regional coastal plans to ensure that activities such as mining and coastal development do not adversely impact on the dolphins.
"Under the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement, councils are legally obliged to change their plans if necessary to avoid adverse effects on threatened species.
"The Maui's dolphin is the most threatened cetacean on the planet and we all need to work together to pull it back from the brink," concluded Ms Peart.