Maui’s dolphins live only in New Zealand and are the smallest and rarest marine dolphin species on earth. Fishing with gill nets and trawling have driven them to the very edge of extinction. There are now just 55 adult Maui’s dolphins left, down from around 1,000 forty years ago. Because there are so few individuals left, the species can only cope with a single fatality as a result of human activities every 10-23 years. Yet these fishing methods kill an estimated five Maui's dolphins each year. The last survivors need to be protected before it’s too late.
The world’s leading independent scientists, including those from the International Whaling Commission and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) agree that these harmful fishing methods must be banned across the dolphins’ range if the species is to have any chance of bouncing back. But the New Zealand government is ignoring these urgent recommendations. Instead, the government’s proposed plans focus unduly on monitoring the dolphins rather than protecting them. But Maui’s dolphins can’t hang on much longer. They need action now!
The New Zealand government has asked for public comments on its proposals by the 12th November. This process gives everyone the opportunity to have their say on how the last 55 Maui's dolphins and their South Island cousins, the endangered Hector’s dolphin, which is declining for the same reasons, should be protected. By signing this petition you can make a formal submission right now and let New Zealand know that the world cares!
You can view the text of the submission below.
To find out more visit www.hectorsdolphins.com or join us on facebook to stay in touch with this urgent campaign: https://www.facebook.com/groups/hectorsandmauissos
Thank you for your support for these animals who are in so much trouble. This may well be the last chance we get to save them!
- New Zealand's Minister for Primary Industries
Hon. David Carter
- New Zealand's Minister of Conservation
Hon. Kate Wilkinson
Submission: Maui’s Dolphin Threat Management Plan
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to make a formal submission on the Review of the Maui's dolphin Threat Management Plan.
Maui's and Hector's dolphins are the world's rarest marine dolphin species. With small and declining populations, only a zero tolerance approach to fishing-related mortality will save both subspecies.
Recent independent expert opinion has again confirmed that gill netting and trawling is by far the greatest threat to Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins.
In line with urgent recommendations made by the IUCN in September 2012, we urge the New Zealand government to afford Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins immediate full protection against gill netting and trawling throughout their habitat to avert their extinction. This means a ban of these fishing methods, and effective management of all other threats, in all waters up to a depth of 100 meters, including harbours.
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