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

 

Grave concerns for native dolphin extinction

Leading global authority on whale and dolphin conservation warns New Zealand government of its grave concerns for native dolphin extinction

Today leading international charity, Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), warned the New Zealand government that if there are not immediate moves to phase out destructive fishing methods, native Māui dolphins are destined for extinction.

Some of the world’s smallest dolphins, Māui, are critically endangered and heading towards extinction with fewer than 60 remaining. Their close cousin, the Hector’s dolphin is classed as ‘nationally vulnerable’. National WDC spokesperson, New Zealand marine biologist Philippa Brakes, says that the international organisation has grave fears for these dolphins, who are found only in New Zealand waters.

In light of the serious human-threat to New Zealand dolphins, today WDC launches its nationwide campaign and call to action, #SaveNZDolphins. The charity has partnered with ActionStation, an independent community campaigning organisation, on a petition calling for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her government to take immediate action for these dolphins.

Today and tomorrow WDC is publishing a full page advertisement in the Dominion Post newspaper, and its online platform, to raise government and public awareness of these dolphins’ desperate plight.

“Unless set net and trawl fishing practices are immediately phased out to the 100 metre depth contour nationwide, these very special dolphins will continue to die, and could eventually disappear completely.

“If an environmentally-conscious nation such as New Zealand can’t save its own native dolphin species what hope is there for the rest of the country’s biodiversity?” says Brakes.

Brakes says while the global charity welcomes the current review of New Zealand’s Threat Management Plan, which is supposed to protect the dolphins, it believes the current proposals are woefully inadequate and will not prevent Māui dolphins from extinction.

“We are alarmed that the proposed regulations allow for up to 50 Hector’s Dolphins to be caught in nets annually on the East Coast of the South Island. This is unacceptable and unsustainable.

“Having worked in the international conservation arena for several decades, it is obvious to me that New Zealand’s important reputation as a leader in environmental issues could be on the line if the government does not take decisive action and transition the country away from destructive fishing methods within Māui and Hector’s dolphin habitats.

“In addition to sustainability issues, there are significant animal welfare concerns with these dolphins becoming trapped in nets. Like humans, marine mammals can’t breathe underwater. When Māui and Hector’s dolphins get entangled in nets they start to panic, many endure terrible wounds and even broken bones trying to escape. When they can’t struggle anymore, rather than drown, the evidence shows that they actually close their blowhole and suffocate; dying a slow painful death,” says Brakes.

“The New Zealand government needs to step up now to protect these critically endangered, endemic mammals and develop a fair solution for fishers”.

Additional Information:

· WDC works with governments throughout the world to ensure laws are toughened to stop dolphins dying as a result of fishery operations.

· The Department of Conservation lists the Hector’s dolphin as a nationally vulnerable species and the Māui dolphin as a critically endangered species. Both Māui and Hector’s are also listed on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species as critically endangered and endangered, respectively.

· Māui and Hector’s dolphins are endemic to New Zealand, this is only place on earth these dolphins can be found.

· Māui are declining at around 3-4% a year, and likely not to recover unless human-caused deaths decrease by 75%.

· In the 1970s there were around 50,000 Hector’s dolphins, now not much more than 10,000 remain, and for Māui Dolphins, there were around 2,000, now fewer than 60 left.

· Around 110 to 150 Hector’s and Māui dolphins die in set nets every year and a similar number in trawls.

· Right now Māui and Hector’s dolphins are protected from set nets in only 30% of their habitat and from trawl nets in less than 10%.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Overseas Investment Rules: New National Interest Test

Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and other critical infrastructure are not assessed through a national interest lens.

“We are introducing a number of new powers, consistent with global best practice, to protect New Zealanders’ best interests in such important – often monopoly – assets,” David Parker said.

Responding to concerns about overseas investment in water bottling, the Government will also require consideration of the impact on water quality and sustainability of a water bottling enterprise, when assessing an investment in sensitive land. More>>

 

Matter Of Trust: Peters Says NZ First Loans Legal

"Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years." More>>

ALSO:

PGF CONFLICT OF INTEREST:

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Age Problem, And The Port Hills

Labour has been steadily improving its gender balance to the point where there are now 21 women in its caucus out of 46 MPs in all... Yet Labour has been just as steadily losing the generational battle to the Greens. More>>

ALSO:

Child Deaths Revealed: NZDF Deal To Clear Afghan Firing Ranges

The Defence Force has agreed a deal to clear unexploded ordnance in Afghanistan after revelations seven children were killed by unexploded devices left there. More>>

ALSO:

Charles & Camilla: Visit Takes Royals From Waitangi To Christchurch

Domestic violence services, conservation and education are all on the list for the royal tour. The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will spend a week travelling the country from Waitangi to Christchurch. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Farming Sector’s Persecution Complex

The narrative that our farmers are ‘doing it tough’ plays into a number of wellworn stereotypes ... More>>

ALSO:

corrections, prisonCorrections: Independent Review Of Prisoner Mail Management

The independent review into the prisoner mail system has today been released, with Corrections accepting all 13 recommendations and making a number of changes to strengthen the management of prisoner mail. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA: Unlawful Detention Of Teenager; Influence Of Investigation

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that former Inspector Hurimoana Dennis unlawfully detained an Auckland teenager in 2015, and improperly influenced the outcome of a criminal investigation into his own son in 2014. More>>

ALSO:

SOP For Gun Bill: New Measures For Modified Pistols

The new controls will • Prohibit short-barrelled semi-automatic rifles which currently are defined as pistols because they are shorter than 762 millimetres. • Introduce tighter controls over pistol carbine conversion kits… • Prohibit firearms which contain a part known as a centrefire lower receiver… More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels