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Left Coalition Will Save Dolphins

Left Coalition Will Save Dolphins and Restore Inshore to Former Bounty

New Zealand Whale and Dolphin Trust

A left coalition would safeguard both Māui and Hector’s dolphins, as well as revive our inshore ecosystems. Labour, Internet Mana and the Green Party all have strong policies in place for dolphin protection. The Maori Party, and to a certain extent Conservatives and New Zealand First are also set to transition the fishing industry to more selective, sustainable fishing methods throughout the inshore environment. National and Act appear unconcerned with the dolphins’ plight.

A vote for the left would also be a vote for the fish. Not only would it be a boon for recreational fishing, it would benefit commercial fishing, protecting nursery areas and breeding grounds for fish.

“When you stand on the beach today looking out to sea, it’s often an empty view, bereft of life. If the dolphins are in trouble, it’s a sign, a tohu, that all is not well with the rest of the ecosystem,” explains Gemma McGrath of WDC (Whale and Dolphin Conservation). “Changing from destructive, wasteful methods to selective ones will transform that. We will be able to enjoy seas of abundance again, and see life teeming in it every day. It will take a bit of time, but it won’t be long until we’ll notice an abundant difference.”

Eighty percent of New Zealander’s want protection measures that will reverse the trend of declining Hector’s dolphin populations and the near-extinct Māui around New Zealand. The majority of political parties have listened and now have strong, or vastly improved policies in effect. Most party policies, excluding National and Act, align with the treaty principles of kaitiakitanga, guardianship.

A left coalition would be a win-win for recreational fishers, Maori and the tourism industry. It would also bolster our international reputation, with our ‘clean, green’ image suffering greatly under the current government.

Internet Mana offers the best protection and will take out destructive, wasteful fishing methods in all areas of dolphin distribution out to the 100 metre depth contour, including the Cook Strait corridor which is essential if Māui are to survive into the future. Internet Mana will also protect our inshore ecosystems from mining and compensate fishers to transition to selective, sustainable methods. Labour’s policy is also excellent, and essentially the same, although not as robust on mining threats. Although Greens have been the most vocal on this issue, they are surprisingly not on top. They have prioritised Māui dolphins this election, yet there are Hector’s dolphin subpopulations just as critical that also need urgent protection, particularly those in Tasman Bay and the Marlborough Sounds, where there is currently no protection at all.


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