OSOF welcomes the public consultation of the Threat Management Plan Review for protecting Hector’s and Māui dolphins from fishing-related and other threats.
Hector’s and Māui dolphins are unique marine mammals found only in New Zealand waters. These dolphins range close to the coast, making them particularly vulnerable to human activities as evidenced by their decline in numbers over the past decades.
Alongside fisheries impacts such as trawling and set nets which pose the greatest risk to these dolphins, there are several other threats including disease, seismic surveying, seabed mining and vessel-based tourism.
Our Seas Our Future spokesperson, Noel Jhinku said that the survival of Hector’s and Māui dolphins is on the line with the 2019 TMP review. If the TMP does not adequately protect these dolphins, of most concern is the very likely extinction of the Māui dolphin subspecies, with only an estimated 57 and 75 Māui dolphins over the age of one year left in New Zealand.
“If the Government does not get this right, with the utmost urgency and priority placed on protection of these endemic dolphins, the blood of these dolphins will be on their hands”.
“In the TMP proposal, Option 4 provides the most ‘protection’ for the dolphins, however does not go far enough. With the Māui dolphins on the brink of extinction, the TMP needs to address 100% protection of habit to a depth of 100 metres from gillnet and trawl fishing to help recover Māui and Hector’s numbers.”
Submissions on the Hector’s and Māui Dolphins Threat Management Plan Review close 5 pm, Sunday 4 August 2019. For more information on making a submission visit: https://www.doc.govt.nz/dolphintmp