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URGENT ACTION REQUIRED - Act Now to Save the Maui's Dolphin From Extinction - Greenpeace NZ Petition

Animals  (tags: Maui's dolphin, extinction, endangered, protection, petition )

- 2033 days ago -
New Zealand's critically endangered Maui's dolphin is the world's smallest and rarest marine dolphin but it is in very real danger of extinction. New reports indicate only 55 adult dolphins now remain alive, yet the NZ Government's response has been zero.

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Grigori R (13)
Monday October 29, 2012, 3:04 am
Petition reads:

To whom it may concern,

Please consider this, my submission to the fishing and non-fishing aspects of the Maui’s dolphin Threat Management Plan.

Maui’s dolphin, the world’s most endangered marine dolphin, found only in New Zealand waters, is in immediate peril. The latest population estimate indicated as few as 55 adult Maui’s dolphins remain, and the species is listed as critically endangered. New Zealand is running a very real risk of becoming the first country to oversee the extinction of a marine cetacean (whale, dolphin or porpoise) since the International Whaling Commission (IWC) was established. This would be a huge blow to New Zealand’s strong record for wildlife conservation, and to our international reputation.

The New Zealand Government, through a workshop including leading scientists in this field, identified that 95% of the threat of Maui’s dolphin mortalities comes from fishing-related death, namely entanglement in nets (including set nets and trawl nets). Mining and oil activities, pollution, vessel traffic and disease constitute the remainder of the threat, on a much lower scale but still significant given the precarious state of the population.

Since the recent, alarming, population estimate there have been further deaths of Maui’s and/or Hector’s dolphins – including entanglement in fishing gear, and dead dolphins found outside the area previously protected. Reporting of dolphin deaths in fishing nets, with or without observers onboard, indicates that only around 1% of these deaths go reported. In other words, these may represent just the tip of the iceberg.

If action is not taken urgently to extend the protection of Maui’s dolphins, New Zealand will carry the shame of the preventable extinction of the world’s smallest marine dolphin in our own lifetimes.

The International Whaling Commission's scientific committee, at its 2012 meeting, noted that bycatch in gillnet and trawl fisheries is the most serious threat to these dolphins, and recommended “the immediate implementation of the proposal by the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries to extend the North Island protected area to approximately 80 km south of the latest dolphin bycatch site”, and that the protected areas should extend “offshore to the 100m depth contour, including the harbours, for gillnet and trawl fisheries. This would protect part of an area with high gillnet and trawl fishing effort between the North and South Islands.”

In September, a similar statement was made at World Conservation Congress of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, a group made up of country and NGO members and considered the world authority on threatened species. In a vote, the IUCN passed an almost unanimous motion urging New Zealand and Mexico to urgently protect Maui’s dolphin and vaquita (a porpoise in Mexico facing a similar threat of extinction). There were 576 country and NGO votes in favour of the motion, and two votes against it. Each country member has two votes, and the two "no" votes belonged to New Zealand.

The motion reads: The World Conservation Congress URGES the New Zealand Government to: “Urgently extend dolphin protection measures, with an emphasis on and in particular to banning gill net and trawl net use from the shoreline to the 100 meter depth contour in all areas where Hector’s and Maui’s dolphins are found, including harbours”

Between New Zealand’s experts workshop, the IWC’s scientific committee and the IUCN, these recommendations reflect the views of an unparalleled group of specialists in cetacean conservation generally and Maui’s dolphins specifically.

New Zealand must not ignore these unequivocal recommendations to protect Maui’s dolphin.

Therefore, I call on the New Zealand Government to immediately ban gillnets, set nets and trawling throughout Maui’s dolphin habitat from Maunganui Bluff in the north to Whanganui in the south, from the coastline (including harbours) out to the 100 meter depth contour.

Failure to do so is in direct breach of the principles of the Fisheries Act, that “associated or dependent species should be maintained above a level that ensures their long-term viability” and “biological diversity of the aquatic environment should be maintained”.

None of the options outlined in the Government’s proposal for consultation are adequate to meet the recommendations of the above mentioned international and New Zealand expert groups, and MUST BE STRENGTHENED TO DO SO.

In relation to the Marine Mammal Sanctuary in place to protect Maui’s dolphins, I urge the Government to extend this in size (WMS Option 2) and to introduce regulations to prohibit seismic surveying and petroleum drilling (SS Options 3c and 5) and mining activity (SME Option 3d to the 100 meter depth contour). Councils should be directed to identify and protect Maui’s dolphin habitat from land-based and coastal activities (CD Option 3). Finally, the Government should seek to designate this area a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) under the International Maritime Organisation (CS Option 2).

I urge you to make a decision on Maui’s dolphin protection that meets the recommendations of experts here and internationally, to bring this vulnerable dolphin population back from the brink of extinction as we’ve famously done in the past with species like the black robin and the kakapo. Your decision must be one that allows New Zealand to hold our heads high for taking all possible measures to conserve these dolphins – not one for which we must bow our heads in shame as the Maui’s dolphin slips further towards extinction.

Michele Wilkinson (106)
Monday October 29, 2012, 3:14 am
Noted and signed.

Elizabeth Fuller (134)
Monday October 29, 2012, 8:29 am
Signed, thanks.

Dany Strakova (123)
Monday October 29, 2012, 9:00 am

Elizabeth O (94)
Monday October 29, 2012, 9:40 am

Joe R (190)
Monday October 29, 2012, 7:07 pm
Thanks Grigori. Signed and noted.

Leslene Dunn (84)
Monday October 29, 2012, 10:59 pm
Signed and noted - how terrible that we still have to tell people that they are in peril - would they not know this and take urgent action - clearly they just don't care.

Danuta W (1249)
Tuesday October 30, 2012, 4:14 am

Alison A (244)
Tuesday October 30, 2012, 5:29 am
Signed and noted, thanks Grigori.

Ellen G (325)
Tuesday October 30, 2012, 7:10 am
2 sigs

naomi cohen (55)
Tuesday October 30, 2012, 8:17 am
signed. thank you.

Gabriela C (105)
Tuesday October 30, 2012, 1:53 pm
Signed. Thank you!

Gysele van Santen (213)
Tuesday October 30, 2012, 5:31 pm

Vicky P (476)
Tuesday October 30, 2012, 5:35 pm
noted and signed

Rock H (254)
Tuesday October 30, 2012, 5:55 pm
Signed and noted. Thanks Grigori!

James Merit (144)
Tuesday October 30, 2012, 7:23 pm

Kay M (347)
Tuesday October 30, 2012, 7:56 pm

Tuesday October 30, 2012, 8:02 pm
Signed. Thanks Grigori

Jelica R (144)
Tuesday October 30, 2012, 8:14 pm
Signed. Hope nobody will try to call the phony number I gave

Esther Z (94)
Tuesday October 30, 2012, 8:40 pm
Noted and signed.

Esther Z (94)
Tuesday October 30, 2012, 8:43 pm
Noted and signed.

Leen K (42)
Tuesday October 30, 2012, 11:08 pm
Signed & noted..Thanks Grigori.

Frans B (582)
Wednesday October 31, 2012, 1:00 am
signed & noted for sure...

Veronique L (209)
Wednesday October 31, 2012, 9:40 am
Action taken with hope!

Intan Surya Dawood (3)
Monday November 5, 2012, 12:55 am
Noted and signed.

Past Member (0)
Monday November 5, 2012, 1:44 am

Barbara Erdman (63)
Friday January 18, 2013, 2:30 pm
Noted and is currently closed :-0 Gingori Tnx
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