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Our letter to the Minister


OPEN LETTER TO THE PRIME MINISTER, MINISTERS SMITH (CONSERVATION), BRIDGES (ENERGY) AND GUY (PRIMARY INDUSTRIES) Dear Sirs, Concerned citizens of New Zealand and the World call on your Government to remove human threats from Maui’s dolphins’ habitat. Maui’s dolphins are the world’s rarest, smallest and loveliest of all marine dolphins and are found only in New Zealand’s inshore waters. Maui’s are down to around the last 55 individuals. This is a tragic and negative reflection on New Zealand, as shown by the IWC’s repeated calls for the Government to do more to protect the sub-species. Maui’s (and Hector’s) Dolphins remain at risk of trawl entrapment in most of their habitat –anywhere beyond 2nm from shore. There are few observers on the inshore fishing fleet to monitor dolphin loss as bycatch. To make matters worse, your Government has reintroduced threats to the dolphins inside the Manukau Harbour in the form of ring netting. The Government’s Threat Management Plan acknowledges that Maui’s dolphins can sustain no more than one human induced death in 10-23 years. To impose the additional threats to these dolphins that oil and gas drilling poses, in effects such as seismic impacts, boat strike, displacement and prey-species loss, is a step way too far for such an imperilled and beautiful population. Mineral extraction even in the periphery of the dolphin habitat poses untenable risks to both Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins in the ‘dolphin corridor’ between the North and South Islands which is essential to support population growth and genetic diversity in the Maui’s population. Please recognise how important this issue is to New Zealanders across the political spectrum, and to observers around the world, including overseas consumers of New Zealand fish. Remove human threats from the Maui’s dolphin habitat. Give the last 55 a chance. Get the nets out, and say no to new oil and gas extraction. Concerned citizens of New Zealand and the World

#mauisdolphins #oildrilling #tauranga #photo

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© 2019 Maui and Hector's Dolphin Defenders.

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