We want Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the New Zealand government to save Māui and Hector’s dolphins.
We are calling for the government to immediately phase out set net and trawl fishing within the dolphins’ habitat around the whole coast of New Zealand.
Why is this important?
Māui dolphins are on the brink of extinction and Hector’s dolphins are heading towards a similar fate if nothing changes. These dolphins are taonga and native to New Zealand, they’re not found anywhere else in the world.
The single greatest threat to Māui and Hector’s dolphins is fishing nets. There used to be around 50,000 Hector’s but now, because of destructive fishing methods, not many more than 10,000 remain. For the critically endangered Māui, it’s even worse. In the 1970s there were around 2,000, now there are fewer than 60 left.
If we don’t act now we risk losing New Zealand dolphins forever. We need to save them, and we hope you will help us!
Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), has been working in New Zealand behind-the-scenes for years gathering evidence and garnering political and public support. Now it’s time for all of us to raise our voices and be heard.
Around 110 to 150 New Zealand dolphins die in set nets every year and a similar number in trawls. Set nets are sometimes referred to as ‘walls of death’. They hang in the water, anchored to the sea bed with weights and are stretched across the surface with floats. They are indiscriminate, catching every creature that swims into them.
Trawl nets are dragged through the water by boats and, like the set nets, scoop up whatever and whoever is in their path. Right now Hector’s and Māui dolphins are protected from set nets in just 30% of their habitat and from trawl nets in less than 10%.
But, here’s the great news – if we band together we can protect them and we could save the species. Are you with us?
The New Zealand government is currently working on what’s called a Threat Management Plan for these dolphins – this plan outlines what the government intends to do to look after the dolphins. However the plan is woefully inadequate; the government proposals will allow at least 50 dolphins to die every year in fishing nets. This is unacceptable!
See the plan here: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/dmsdocument/34971.
We’re urging Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to remove these dangerous nets from the dolphins’ home. We’re calling for the New Zealand government to transition our country away from destructive fishing methods, and immediately phase out set net and trawl fishing within the dolphins’ habitat, to the 100 metre depth contour, around the whole coast of the country.
The government must also consult relevant local iwi about implementing a phase out of trawling and set nets in line with the obligations of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
This is our chance to show the government how much we love these dolphins. They are taonga and deserve to survive and thrive. Sign our petition to send the Prime Minister a message and help us save them!
What you can do:
– Write to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, using the automatic form
on our petition page
– Like and share our Facebook/Instagram pages
– Post on social media about NZ dolphins and share it with us
using the hashtag #SaveNZDolphins
Māui dolphins are on the brink of extinction and Hector’s dolphins are in serious jeopardy. Does your government want to be responsible for letting the precious native dolphins of New Zealand disappear?
We, and the rest of the world, need you to take action before it’s too late.
Please save NZ dolphins by:
– Transitioning the country away from destructive fishing methods, and immediately phasing out set net and trawl fishing within the dolphins’ habitat, to the 100 metre depth contour, around the whole coast of the country. This is the only way to ensure no more dolphins die in nets. Protecting just part of their habitat, as currently suggested in the Threat Management Plan, is not sufficient and will allow at least 50 dolphins to die a year in fishing nets.
– Monitoring commercial fishing vessels and following through with your government’s plan to put cameras onto all these boats. This is the only way we can ensure regulations are being followed and dolphins are being looked after.
– Implementing a plan backed by experts to help the dolphin population recover.
Thank you for your consideration of this important issue.
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