On 11 February 2013, the Society for Marine Mammalogy, world's largest professional group dedicated to the study of marine mammals, with a membership of approximately 2,000 scientists from 60 countries, sent a letter concerning the review of the Threat Management Plan for Maui's dolphins, Cephalorhynchus hectori maui.
"Any bycatch of Maui's dolphins is clearly unsustainable, ...urgent need to act on that science and strengthen measures to protect these dolphins, which are endemic to North Island waters. Concurring with the IWC recommendation to extend the North Island protected area and the IUCN resolution to ban gillnet and trawl fisheries in all areas where these dolphins are found. "These actions are critical and without them this population is highly likely to decline towards extinction.", and encouraging the NZ government to "act quickly and decisively to provide the leadership in marine conservation that the world expects of your country."
"A new report has revealed almost 70 dolphins and more than 300 fur seals were accidently caught in our waters by the fishing industry in just one season."
Pete Bethune reports on a two week surveillance mission by Earthrace Conservation Organization NZ, in the Banks Peninsula,
"From what we’ve seen over the last 2 weeks here, vessels fish legally during the day, but at night, a couple of them sneak into areas where they are banned. Secondly, and this has only just become apparent, is the pathetic nature of the sanctuary here, even if the regulations are adhered to. Protection supposedly goes all the way out to 12nm, but they then allow gill nets in to 4nm from shore, trawlers to 2nm from shore, and amazingly, small trawls (1.5m head height) are allowed all the way in to land, and right through the heart of where these dolphin live."
Video blog from ECO NZ showing the covert mission around Banks Peninsula:
Gift your friends with Love
for "our" Cetaceans!