IWC Scientists rebuke New Zealand over Maui's dolphins
For the third year in a row, the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission (IWC SC) deliberated on the urgent need to protect New Zealand’s Critically Endangered Maui’s dolphins. The Committee emphasized that current protection measures fall significantly short of recommendations made by the IWC in 2012, 2013 and reiterated its extreme concern about the ongoing decline of this tiny population. It’s the end of a love affair with New Zealand for many – including the scientific community. Read more about the IWC's urgent call for action to save Maui's dolphins.
International Whaling CommissionScientists rebuke New Zealand over lack of protection for Maui's dolphins
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 stern warnings about the urgent need to protect the dolphins’ from fishing nets. Because 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.
In 2012, a government appointed Panel of Experts determined that gillnets and trawling kill five Maui’s dolphins each year. Dr Liz Slooten from the University of Otago estimates that extensions to fisheries exclusion zones introduced since then reduce Maui’s dolphin bycatch to 3.28 - 4.16 individuals per year - 54 times the sustainable limit.
Based on Dr Slooten’s results we calculate that Maui’s dolphins may become extinct as early as 2031. The marginal increase in fisheries protection put in place by New Zealand in the past two years falls well short of the zero tolerance approach mandated by science and will at best delay the dolphins’ extinction by 4-18 years. Read more
Help me save them!
Small dolphins go big at World Whale Conference
The 2013 World Whale Conference was held in Gloucester, Massachusetts in the USA this week. The meeting brought together delegates from all around the globe and had been organised by the enthusiastic team ofthe World Cetacean Alliance, of which we are a partner. A wide range of issues that effect cetaceans were on the agenda, including New Zealand's highliy endangered Maui's and Hector's dolphins. You can watch our presentation about the plight of the last Maui's dolphins in the short video below. Extinction is looming, so check it out and discover what it will take to save them.
Act now to save the last 50 Maui's Dolphins
Be their voice. Sign the petition today!
Don't miss out! Have your to say and tell New Zealand that Maui's dolphins need to be fully protected against all fishing nets to prevent the dolphins' extinction. It's quick and it's easy. Simply click on the image on the link below and sign our petition. Each signature sends your letter directly to the government. The more letters are sent, the stronger the message that the world cares about New Zealand's forgotten dolphins.
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New Zealand ignores calls by international scientific institutions to protect Maui's dolphins from extinction
Thank you Tweeters!
Tweetstorm for Maui's dolphins a resounding success
Thank you to all participants and supporters of our Tweetstorm for Maui's Dolphins on 8th August. Within a matter of hours 11,786 of tweets flooded the ether from all across the world. Globally our tweetstorm trended in 5th place, ahead of pop star A-listers Lady Gaga and Beyoncé. This is a phenomenal result, made possible by thousands of people in every corner of the world, who care about the last 50 Maui's dolphins before it is too late. New Zealand simply must protect them. There is no doubt that our message hit home. We now look forward to the next step in our campaign and hope that you will help our community to stay active and grow until the the smallest dolphins on earth are finally safe. Thank you ... and continue to tweet for their lives! Read more
Marine mammal experts condemn seismic tests in Maui's dolphin habitat
Six Hector's dolphins die in a single month
Maui's dolphins extinct by 2030: world's marine mammal scientists urge immediate action
Under current protection levels, Maui’s dolphins will become practically extinct by 2030 as a result of fishing.
In a letter to New Zealand’s Prime Minister, the Society for Marine Mammalogy (SMM) urges the government to ban gillnets and trawling in Maui’s dolphin habitat immediately to avoid their extinction. With a membership of some 2,000 scientists from 60 countries, the SMM is the world's largest professional body dedicated to research on marine mammals and the ecosystems that support them. The letter highlights that fishing nets alone kill about nine percent of an estimated population of 55 individuals over one year of age, which will render Maui’s dolphins virtually extinct in less than 20 years. Read more
Maui's dolphin extinction scenario
Fishing nets threaten Hector's dolphins inside a Marine Mammal Sanctuary
In 1988 New Zealand established its first Marine Mammal Sanctuary on the east coast of the country's South Island to protect the resident Hector's dolphin population against harmful fishing nets. But the so-called 'Sanctuary' is failing in its task because it is simply too small. What's more, the New Zealand government has been aware of this fact since at least 2009 but is refusing to act. Read more
The End of 100% Pure New Zealand
CLICK image to enlarge.
Set netting (commercial and recreational) and trawling have decimated New Zealand's endemic Maui’s dolphins from around 1,000 to less than 55 adults - that’s less than 20 breeding females. Yet the NZ government continues to drag its heals, ignores the science and gives credence to outlandish and misleading claims by the fishing industry, which denies responsibility for the animals' demise.
New Zealand’s reputation as an environmentally responsible nation is crumbling. As more Maui’s dolphins die, New Zealand's iconic fern is wilting. We need strong international support if we are to stand a chance of saving this species and avoid the first man-made extinction of a marine cetacean - something even the whalers didn’t quite manage. Read more
A big thank you ...
... to everyone who have signed, shared and promoted our petition, which made it easy for everyone to participate in the New Zealand government’s public consultation on Maui’s dolphins. An amazing 14,880 submissions came together because we came together to help them. That’s 6,500 more than in the last consultation round. In addition we distributed 8,000 submission leaflets and 5,200 reports in various countries around the world. Thank you all so very much! Of course our work doesn’t stop because the consultation period has passed, but let's pause for a moment, take a deep breath and reflect about what we have achieved together. We can’t let Maui’s or Hector’s dolphins down, so please stay tuned for the next chapter in trying to get them the protection they need and deserve.
Over 75 leading environmental and animal protection groups and businesses, including NABU International have committed to Save the Whales: Reloaded, a new global alliance will identify and work together to protect whales and dolphins in areas where they most need help. Twenty two conservation groups and businesses from around the world have joined NABU International in a collective bid to save Maui and Hector’s dolphins as part of the Save the Whales: Reloaded campaign. Read more
How New Zealand Law Lets Down the ‘Down-Under Dolphin’ and How to Fix It
A New Zealand lawyer speaks out
New Zealand shames itself in front of the world
The New Zealand government has exposed its anti-conservation stance in the most spectacular way. At the recent IUCN World Conservation Congress, New Zealand was the only nation to cast a vote against a motion in favour of better protection of the last 55 or so Maui's dolphins and their endangered cousins, the Hector's dolphin. With about 6000 daily participants, the meeting is the world’s largest conservation event and brings together professionals and governments to discuss the environment. The IUCN's demands perfectly match those of our turn the red sea green campaign, confirming once again the legitimacy of what we have been asking the New Zealand government to do. Read more
Would you give up seafood from New Zealand to save Maui's and Hector's dolphins?
Hector's dolphins and their close relative the Maui’s dolphin live only in New Zealand and are both the smallest and rarest marine dolphins on earth. Entanglement in gill and trawl nets has devastated them to near extinction. Unless things change, they will disappear forever.
Since he 1970s, Hector’s dolphin populations have dropped by more than 75% from 30,000 to just over 7,000. The situation is even worse for Maui’s dolphins, their North Island subspecies. With just some 55 animals and around 20 breeding females left, Maui's dolphins are facing imminent extinction.
Saving this species is a race against time that can only be won if the threat of fishing is removed from the dolphins’ habitat. But industry bodies have forcefully opposed every effort to protect these animals and even took the government to court on several occasions in an attempt to overturn protection measures.
Both the Conservation and Primary Industries ministers said they are not implementing immediate protection measures because they fear being sued by the industry. No one wants this. But no one should be allowed to intimidate a government into allowing a species to be wiped out. There are a mere 55 Maui's dolphins left. All other avenues have been explored. This would be the very last resort to persuade the industry that this is not o.k.
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Follow the dolphins
Find out what the experts think. New blog pages featuring dolphin expert Dr Liz Slooten and freedive world champion William Trubridge.
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Messages of Hope!
A collection of inspirational petition comments from around the world