This page was prepared and published in 2009, naturally some things have changed, but over all the tone and the ineffectiveness of the Government and the fishing industry to mitigate threats to the survival of the Maui’s Dolphin remain.
The set net ban proposed in 2008 was already too weak, it covered too small a range and did not address all the issues at hand.
The fishing industry fought the bans in the courts diminishing their efficacy. The resulting ban ranged from Dargaville to a point above New Plymouth.
Recently the National Government had to extend the set net ban to include Tarankai because of recent sightings, one recorded on video, of Maui’s Dolphins in the region.
Unfortunately the set net bans are still weak. Especially because they range only from Two to 13km from shore, whereas the Maui’s habitat ranges to 20km from shore. Effectively this is a face saving measure for the New Zealand government, successive regimes of which have merely played with the problem.
More and more international conservation groups are calling for more action alongside a bevvy of New Zealand conservation groups and individuals through out the country.
A recent international marine biologist symposium held in Dunedin added the voices of dozens of experts to the cry for more to be done.
The government has defended itself promising about four-hundred-thousand dollars for more independent observers, but it’s obvious that these people will simple watch the death throws of this unique species despite the fact that the solution is simple and calls for nothing more than the fishing industry to change it’s methods of fishing. This change over is something the government should be willing to pay for in order to guarantee the safety of not only Maui’s Dolphin but New Zealand’s reputation as a guardian of it’s ecology, as a conservation nation and as a nature tourism mecca.
Sadly no matter the politics of the sitting governments over the past forty four years we have seen the numbers of Maui’s Dolphin
shrink from around 400 in the 1970′s to the pitiable 55 we now hear about in headline news.
There are many worthy groups and petitions online and many people have emailed or posted the sitting MPs to support the proposed changes and conservation of the Maui’s Dolphin.
I urge you to do whatever you can to help these rare and slowly vanishing creatures. Show the world, show the cynical politicians,
show the Maui’s that we can make a difference in this world, to save the most endangered and bring them back from the brink of extinction.
Thank you for reading my work. It’s been a pleasure sharing this story with you.
All the best
Links to petitions and organisations concerned with Maui’s Dolphins.