New research confirms that New Zealand’s Maui’s dolphins could face extinction by 2031. In the past two years, the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) had issued urgent recommendations about the need to protect the dolphins’ from fishing nets. New Zealand has failed to implement this advice. IWC scientists are scheduled to discuss the plight of the last 50 Maui’s dolphins again at their meeting in Bled, Slovakia this week.
More good news, and gratitude to EIA (Environmental Investigation Agency) and HSI (Humane Society International) for this campaign
During the 20th century alone, more than 1.4 million whales have been killed. In the process, commercial whaling systematically depleted whale population after whale population. Estimates indicate that the impacts of previous commercial whaling led to the reduction of whale populations, leaving species such as the Humpback Whale down to 10%, the Blue Whale down to less than 4% from "pre-exploitation numbers", the Gray Whale down to 12%, the Right Whale down to 6%. All of these whales are among at least 7 whale species listed as Endangered. These numbers may be shocking, but also disturbing is the fact that scientists from outside of Japan have purchased whale meats from Japanese markets to find DNA results indicating that Humpback, Blue, and Sei whale meats are still being sold.
After numerous e-mails and phone calls by Peggy Oki (Coordinator of "Let's Face It" Visual Petitions) since February (2013) pushing to formulate a group letter of concern to DOC with request for protocols including necropsy to determine cause of death in any cetaceans found in proximity to zones of seismic testing we gladly announce that the Society for Marine Mammalogy (SMM) is urging the New Zealand government to halt seismic testing in Maui’s dolphin habitat immediately. In a letter to New Zealand’s Prime Minister the SMM expressed concerns about seismic surveys in the home of Maui’s dolphins, the rarest dolphin species on earth. The President of the Society Prof. Helen Marsh said that "allowing seismic testing in the dolphins’ habitat may harm their hearing and push them into unprotected areas, where they are more exposed to fishing nets. The impact on the 55 remaining Maui’s dolphins could be devastating. Allowing this seismic testing appears inconsistent with the New Zealand Government's stated goal of enabling this subspecies to recover..."