March 21, 2018
Pressure goes on after dolphin deaths
The Government is speeding up work aimed at protecting Hector's dolphins after five were killed in commercial set net north of Banks Peninsula.
Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage have asked for advice on whether changes can be made to some fishing practices in the short-term, and what can be done long term.
This could include extending the existing ban on set nets in the Banks Peninsula Marine Mammal Sanctuary to cover areas further offshore.
Reviewing the threat management plan and encouraging voluntary closures of certain fisheries to set nets or even phasing them out completely could be considered.
There are an estimated 9000 Hector's dolphins off the South Island's east coast.
Christine Rose from the Maui and Hector’s Dolphin Defenders says the Ministers are moving too slowly, and essential decisions need to be made now.
She says most New Zealanders want better protection of Maui and Hector’s dolphins, and she accused the Government of going soft on the issue because of New Zealand First support for the fishing industry.
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