Extinction is imminent for two marine mammal species unless their habitat is immediately cleared of gillnets

"Research considered by the IWC's Scientific Committee shows that protected areas are too small to be effective, and progress in extending gillnet and trawl net free areas has been too slow to achieve recovery as part of New Zealand's national and international obligations."

From Peggy Oki, "Let's Face It" campaign coordinator:

Two weeks ago the world lost Lonesome George, the last of his subspecies of Galapagos Tortoise. Across the planet, species are becoming extinct at an alarming rate.

The New Zealand government can prevent extinction of the critically endangered Hector's and Maui's Dolphins. "The IWC Scientific Committee urged New Zealand to take immediate steps to arrest the decline of its only native dolphins, pointing out that current protection measures are inadequate in terms of the area and the fishing methods they cover."

Please join us in creating and collecting more "Let's Face It" Visual Petitions to the New Zealand government.

If you have already created a VP, you know how fun & easy it is to do. You can team up with a friend, and its fun for everyone. Events such as festivals, parties, gatherings with co-workers and friends are great places for connecting and collecting many more “Let’s Face It” VPs. So bring your camera and image of Hector’s / Maui’s Dolphins along with you.

“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” Albert Einstein

Since the introduction of nylon filament nets in the 1970s, Hector's dolphin numbers have dropped from 30,000 to around 7,000. The situation for Maui's dolphins, Cephalorhynchus hectori maui, a subspecies of Hector's dolphins, is even worse. More than 94 percent are already lost and Maui's dolphins are now confined to very small remnant population on the west coast of New Zealand's North Island.

With just 55 survivors older than one year, fewer than 20 breeding females, and an annual decline of around three percent, Maui's dolphins are facing imminent extinction.

...the New Zealand delegation failed to mention that these measures are temporary, they do not include trawl fishing and do not apply to most of the dolphins' habitat.

The New Zealand conservation group Forest & Bird says the government's move still does not adequately protect Maui's dolphins from extinction because other significant areas remain completely unprotected.

Forest & Bird Advocacy Manager Kevin Hackwell said, "The set net ban needs to be extended to all regions where these nationally-critical Maui's dolphins are found. That includes all harbors and offshore to the 100 meter depth contour."

"It's imperative we remove the threat by adopting a ban that completely covers their habitat," said Hackwell. "We need stronger measures to be implemented now, not at the end of the year after the Threat Management Plan has been reviewed."

Hackwell says requiring observers on commercial fishing vessels will do little to actually stop dolphins from dying in set nets. "It's going to force fishers to put observers on their boats, which is good. It's a step in the right direction. But it won't stop dolphins being killed. It will just mean that we'll know how many we've caught."

From another report during the IWC meetings "...conservationist group WWF, said that the commitments by Mexico and New Zealand were not enough.

"Unless these governments remove all gillnets now they will be responsible for the loss of these animals forever," she said.


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Extinction is imminent for two marine mammal species unless their habitat is immediately cleared of gillnets


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