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Maui Dolphin situation can't get more urgent

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Maui Dolphin situation can't get more urgent

Note to Kate Wilkinson and David Carter from Ruth Dyson, Labour Conservation spokesperson: There are only 55 Maui's dolphins left, in total, on the planet.

If more than two die prematurely in the next five years, extinction is pretty much guaranteed. And that's pretty much agreed by everyone.

So what bit of 'please act now' don't you get? Surely the possibility of being Ministers in charge of the extinction of a species doesn't hold great appeal.

And turning the debate into a scrap between the fishing industry and conservation interests is dumb.

Fishing can and should continue - but there are ways and means to do that without also killing dolphins and seabirds.

Mr Carter, there's a massive marketing opportunity for you here. How about agitating for the implementation of sustainable fishing methods?

Yes, it does contradict your refusal to enact emergency powers to extend set netting bans, but you should know by now that in unclear and risky conservation matters, a precautionary practice is usually followed.

The Fisheries proposals - currently out for consultation - are timid and will not protect these dolphins. They need to cover all waters on the West Coast area under discussion to 100m deep.

Ministers, you need to recognise the situation is at crisis-level. It is up to you whether New Zealand's fishing industry is recognised as the first truly sustainable fishing industry or remembered as the industry that robbed the planet of Maui's dolphins.

Surely it's a no brainer - back the set net ban, and extend it.

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