Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

NZ Criticised Over Failure To Protect Rare Dophins

For immediate release: 6 July 2012

NABU International

International Whaling Commission criticises New Zealand OVER FAILURE to protect RARE dolphins

Hundreds of delegates from government and conservation groups are gathered in Panama at the 64th meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) this week to discuss the future of world’s whales.

Amidst the annual wrangling between pro- and anti-whaling fractions, there has also been occasion to consider the fate of the world's smallest and rarest marine cetacean, New Zealand’s little known Maui’s and Hector’s Dolphins.

The IWC’s scientific body urged New Zealand to take immediate steps to arrest the decade of decline of its only native dolphins, pointing out that current protection measures are inadequate in terms of the area and the fishing methods they cover.

Since the introduction of nylon filament nets in the 1970s, Hector’s dolphin numbers have dropped from 30,000 to around 7,000. The situation for Maui’s dolphins, a subspecies of Hector’s dolphins, is even worse. More than 94% are already lost and Maui’s dolphins are now confined to very small remnant population on the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island. With just 55 survivors older than one year, less than 20 breeding females, and an annual decline of around three percent, Maui's dolphins are facing imminent extinction.

Research, considered by the IWC’s Scientific Committee, showed that protected areas are simply too small to be effective, and progress in extending gillnet and trawl net free areas has been too slow to achieve recovery as part of New Zealand’s national and international obligations. In one area off the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island, Hector’s dolphin bycatch exceeds sustainable levels about 23 times.

“Hector's and Maui's dolphins inhabit coastal waters up to a depth of 100 meters”, says Dr Barbara Maas, of the German conservation group NABU International, which released a report highlighting the urgent need to protect this species at the IWC.”

“We are delighted that the IWC’s has confirmed what scientists have been pointing out all along, namely that numbers continue to decline because only a small fraction of the dolphins home is protected against gillnetting and trawling.”

“New Zealand tried to deflect these criticisms by pointing towards a recent extension of the protected area for Maui’s dolphins. Yet New Zealand failed to mention that these measures are merely temporary, don’t include trawl fishing and do not apply to most of the dolphins’ habitat. They therefore fall short of the IWC’s directions and will not prevent the dolphins’ extinction.”

“The New Zealand Government has been exposed to fierce pressure from fishing interests, which strongly oppose any measures to protect the dolphins. We are therefore delighted that the IWC has confirmed what scientists and conservationists have been calling all along: a ban on gillnets and trawling in waters up to 100m depth.”

“NABU International sincerely hopes that New Zealand will finally show the commitment and leadership required to avert the first extinction of a marine cetacean as a result of human activities and leave the Hector’s and Maui’s as a continuing legacy for the world. Failure to do so will forever tarnish New Zealand’s reputation as an environmentally responsible nation.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Government: Northland To Move To Orange, NZ Prepared For Omicron


Northland will move to Orange at 11:59pm tonight, 20 January 2022, while the rest of New Zealand will remain at Orange as the Government prepares for Omicron to enter the community.
“Vaccination rates have continued to increase in Northland and are now at 89 percent first dose. The easing of the Auckland boundary over summer did not drive an increase in cases so we believe it is safe for Northland...
More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On Responding To The Need In Tonga


The power of the Tonga eruption (and the size of the aid response being mounted) have been sobering indications of the scale of this disaster. The financial impact is certain to exceed the damage done by Cyclone Harold two years ago, which was estimated at the time to cost $US111 million via its effects on crops, housing and tourism facilities. This time, the tsunami damage, volcanic ash, sulphur dioxide contamination and villager relocation expenses are likely to cost considerably more to meet...
More>>



 
 



Science Media Centre: Omicron Outbreak Would Move The Country To Red - Expert Reaction

The Prime Minister has announced if Omicron cases spread into the community, the country will move to the traffic light system's Red setting within 48 hours. Jacinda Ardern also mentioned there will be changes to the country's testing regime, with more use of Rapid Antigen Tests... More>>


Government: New Zealand Prepared To Send Support To Tonga

New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today... More>>


Ministry of Health: COVID-19 Immunisation Starts For 5 To 11-year-old Tāmariki

More than 120,000 doses of the child (paediatric) Pfizer vaccine have been delivered to over 500 vaccination sites around New Zealand as health providers prepare to start immunising 5 to 11-year-olds tamariki from today, 17 January... More>>



Statistics: Departures Lift Border Crossing Numbers

The number of people crossing New Zealand’s border went up in November 2021, mostly due to an increase in departures, Stats NZ said today. There were 28,700 border crossings in November 2021, made up of 12,300 arrivals and 16,400 departures... More>>


Financial Services Federation: Open Letter To Government From Non-bank Lenders: The Path Forward On CCCFA Changes
Responsible lenders are not interested in telling the Government “I told you so” when it comes to unintended consequences of changes to lending laws that are now causing grief for everyday Kiwis seeking finance... More>>

CTU: Too Many Kiwi Workers Financially Vulnerable As Omicron Looms
With New Zealand on the precipice of an Omicron outbreak and the economic upheaval that comes with it, the CTU’s annual Mood of the Workforce Survey shows the vast majority of kiwi workers do not have the financial resources to survive a period of unemployment... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels