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Minister's decision puts Maui's dolphins at risk

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

These measures will not protect Maui's dolphins from extinction, Gareth Hughes Green Party ocean's spokesperson said today.

The Minister for Primary Industries today finally announced the Government's decision on the proposed interim set net restriction measures, which will come into effect in 28 days. The Maui's population is at a very low level, it is estimated there are around 55 dolphins left. Each or any additional mortality increases the chances of extinction.

"We need to halt all indiscriminate set net fishing in all areas where Maui's dolphins are known to swim to give them a chance at survival.

"This decision still allows set net fishing within the marine mammal sanctuary which is an outrage.

"The Minister is acting against advice with a ban of set nets of 2 nautical miles off the coast when his officials recommended double that," said Mr Hughes.

"We love our marine environment, and think it is vital that native species are protected from extinction.

"Our clean green reputation is the backbone of our economy, an extinction event puts this at risk.

"The Minister of Conservation is missing in action and her decision on the interim marine mammal sanctuary extension is months behind schedule.

"The Government is not acting with urgency to protect Maui's dolphins, it should use its 'emergency powers' under Section 16 of the Fisheries Act to halt all indiscriminate set net fishing in all areas where Maui's dolphins are known to swim.

"The Maui's population can only sustain 1 human-induced mortality every 10 to 23 years, so it is absolutely necessary to minimize the risk of human-induced mortality.

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