Raising dolphin awareness at the GoGreen Expo
With the help of our passionate volunteers and supporters, we were most recently at the GoGreen Expo talking to people about the Māui and Hector’s dolphins Threat Management Plan.
The official population estimate for Māui dolphins is between 57 and 75, and, in 2018 alone, at least four Māui dolphins were found dead on North Island beaches. Some of the small South Island Hector’s dolphin sub-populations number as low as around 40 individuals.
The problem is simple – much of the Māui and Hector’s habitat is unprotected from human threats. Areas they live in, travel through and need to survive, have limited or no protection.
Time is running out to protect Māui and Hector’s dolphins. That's why we've been out in the community, talking to people about this critical issue and encouraging them to send a postcard to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern urging her to take action to protect these beautiful dolphins. We need this Government to make the Threat Management Plan a priority.
Over the Summer we attended nine events in total and had thousands of postcards signed.
During the most recent GoGreen Festival in Auckland, we had more than 400 people sign postcards to send to the Prime Minister!
This Threat Management Plan must;
- Remove gill, set and trawl nets from the whole of the Māui and Hector’s dolphin habitat out to 100m;
- Avoid, remove and properly manage other threats within these areas including seismic testing, and noisy marine activities such as pile driving and mineral extraction;
- Monitor and regulate activities to address risk of boat strike and habitat disturbance;
- Apply improved monitoring and compliance including onboard observer coverage and cameras on the fishing fleet.
Māui and Hector’s dolphins are New Zealand icons
Māui and Hector’s dolphins are a New Zealand “taonga” (a highly valued treasure) and are celebrated in our culture and art. They deserve our respect and protection.
We will continue our work to raise community awareness and generate support for a comprehensive threat management plan. To stay up to date on our work with Māui and Hector’s dolphins, follow us on Facebook.