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New Zealand Coastal Waters

The coastal waters surrounding New Zealand boast a vast collection of rare marine species, many of which call New Zealand their only home on Earth. Two species in particular have drawn immense international attention for their unique grey, black and white color patterns and delightfully friendly demeanor – the Hector’s and Māui’s dolphins. These dolphins are the only two cetacean species endemic to New Zealand, and scientists have watched their numbers decline sharply over the last several decades; the Hector’s dolphin has faced a decline of more than 30% the original population size reported in the 1970’s, and the Māui’s dolphin has suffered a particularly devastating fate with an estimated 50-55 individuals remaining. The direct cause of their declining numbers is the use of gillnets and trawling in the area. Fortunately, The New Zealand Department of Conservation and Ministry for Primary Industries is proposing fisheries policy options for protection of these species, a next step to ensure these species do not fall into the trap of extinction. If you have 20 seconds right now, PLEASE use this pre-filled form and make your public comment here This comment not only calls for the ban on all gillnets and trawl nets up to the 100 meter depth contour, but also calls for several other commonsense actions that would go far to help save these species from extinction. Every comment counts.

Protected Species

Hector’s Dolphin Maui’s Dolphin
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