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


Fishing industry must follow through on dolphin protection

NABU: New Zealand’s fishing industry must follow through on Māui dolphin protection

Berlin – Last week fishing companies Sanford and Moana New Zealand announced plans to eliminate fishing-related threats to Māui dolphins across their range in a bid to prevent their extinction. But the industry’s plans will miss their mark unless they are rolled out across the area’s entire fishing fleet, and their scope and schedule of implementation are brought in line with scientific necessity.

Māui dolphins are the world’s smallest and rarest marine dolphin. Since the 1970s, entanglement in fishing nets has driven down the population by more than 95 percent. Only a tiny remnant population of some 50 individuals survives off the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island.

Sanford and Moana New Zealand’s plans include the end of gillnet fishing under the companies’ catch entitlements in part of the dolphins’ northern habitat from October 2017. The companies plan to continue their trawl fishery across of the dolphins’ home until at least December 2022.

“The survival of a quarter of the world’s mammals is threatened,” says Thomas Tennhardt, CEO of NABU International. “New Zealand’s Māuis dolphins share life at the very cusp of extinction with animals such as lowland gorillas, Sumatran tigers and Javan rhinos, which far outnumber them. Globally, at least 308,000 whales, dolphins and porpoises die from entanglement in fishing gear each year. Gillnetting and trawling are known to pose the greatest risk. While we welcome Sanford and Moana New Zealand’s gesture, the proposed timeframe and range of measures proposed will not prevent the demise of New Zealand’s most endangered inhabitants.”

“More than 100 commercial gillnet vessels operate in the dolphins’ habitat,” explains NABU International’s Head of Endangered Species Conservation, Dr Barbara Maas. “Sanford and Moana New Zealand’s proposals would merely reduce this number by five boats ten months from now.”

“Because there are no recognised dolphin safe trawling methods, trawling by the companies’ and other inshore fleets is set to continue across 95 percent of the dolphins’ home for a further six years. Our calculations indicate that Māui dolphin numbers will drop well below 30 by 2020, the equivalent of just 7 breeding females. We simply can’t wait if we want to ensure Māuis survive or ‘recover and expand’, as envisaged by Sanford and Moana New Zealand.”

NABU International has been fighting for a science-based conservation regime for Māui dolphins for many years. This includes raising awareness that fishing poses a serious threat to the dolphins’ survival and their habitat boundaries from Maunganui Bluff in the north to Whanganui in the south out to a water depth of 100m, including harbours. To ensure the dolphins’ survival, the organisation has also been advocating the development of a socio-economic compensation strategy to support the transition of affected fishermen to alternative livelihoods or sustainable, selective fishing methods that do not impact Māuis dolphins or other protected species.

“We commend Sanford and Moana New Zealand for being the first fishing companies to acknowledge these scientific realities,” says Maas. “Unless this new basis of understanding is translated into comprehensive action, trawling and gillnet will continue to decimate New Zealand’s beleaguered dolphins.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

PM's Speech: NZ Moves To Red

Nine COVID-19 cases reported yesterday in the Nelson/Marlborough region have now been confirmed as the Omicron variant, and a further case from the same household was confirmed late yesterday....


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...


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>>




InfoPages News Channels