Forest & Bird is demanding an end to trawling in Hector’s dolphin habitat, following the deaths of three more of the endangered dolphins on Monday, as announced by Fisheries Inshore NZ.
“It is just so disheartening to receive endless news of endangered species dying in nets and on lines at sea. What is abundantly obvious is that trawling in endangered dolphin territory is a recipe for disaster, and it must end,” says Forest & Bird spokesperson Anton van Helden.
“One small reserve for dolphins near Banks Peninsula is hopelessly inadequate, when we know these animals live around the coast of the South Island, and swim as far out as 20 nautical miles.
"Forest & Bird commend the fishers for doing the right thing and reporting these deaths, but the industry and government can no longer downplay the fact that these rare dolphins are dying at unacceptable levels, when they have the means to protect them.
“Hector's dolphins are very special, because they live in distinct hapū groups around the South Island. Catching multiple animals in a single go, like in these latest incidents, could be catastrophic for the local populations.
“These dolphins were correctly reported, but the fact is, MPI have no idea what is being pulled up in the nets of hundreds of boats all around our coastline. Without observers or cameras on most boats, we have no idea how many dolphins are killed every year, and no ability to protect them."