Saturday, 14 September 2013

Government fiddles while Maui’s dolphins edge towards extinction

NZ Government proposals totally inadequate
September 2013. Forest & Bird says the minor changes the Minister of Conservation is proposing to make to the boundaries of an area closed to gill-netting off the North Island's West Coast are entirely inadequate, and will do little if anything to save the Maui's dolphin from extinction. 

The Minister is proposing to extend the zone south only as far as New Plymouth, from Pariokariwa Point, out to seven nautical miles. Scientists estimate that there are only 55 Maui's dolphins left. Forest & Bird is campaigning for a comprehensive Maui's dolphin sanctuary - in which gill nets, trawling, mining, and seismic testing would be banned - throughout the dolphin's habitat.

"The government's continual lack of meaningful action is risking the extinction of the Maui's dolphin. It has been over a year since we learnt that the population had reached such a critical level, and a year since a Maui's dolphin was found dead in a net. Yet still we don't have a final management decision," says Katrina Subedar, Forest & Bird Marine Advocate.

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