Māui’s dolphin: going, going, gone?
Clean, green New Zealand. With a dirty little secret. We are on track to becoming the first country in the world to cause the extinction of a marine dolphin. The smallest in the world - the Māui Dolphin.
I don't know about you, but I struggle to see how New Zealand marketing and PR could recover.
The hobbit of the ocean is native to New Zealand waters, ours to enjoy, ours to protect. Split into two subspecies, the Hectors roam the south, while the elusive Māui Dolphin take refuge on the west coast of the North Island.
Although both are considered endangered, the Māui population is critical. With less than 10 per cent of the original 2000 dolphins, the remaining 55 are teetering on the brink of extinction.
The decline has been at the hands of the commercial fishing industry where trawl, set net and driftnet methods have been detrimental to the survival these dolphins. Through bycatch and reduced food availability, commercial fishing accounts for the majority of Māui mortalities. There is an average of approximately five fishing related deaths per year – a number the current population simply cannot afford.
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