From climate change and plastics, to deep sea mining and overfishing - the threats facing our oceans are growing and becoming more urgent by the…
Our native dolphins can flourish in our waters once again. We have an opportunity to turn the tide on the global biodiversity crisis and show what true guardianship and protection of our natural world looks like. We want Māui and Hector’s dolphins not just to survive, but to thrive.
The commercial fishing industry have driven Māui dolphins to the brink of extinction, with 95% of all human-induced deaths caused by fishing nets being used in their habitats. And subsequent governments have failed to take sufficient action to regulate this industry.
Hector’s Dolphins are threatened by the use of the same fishing techniques, and we need to take action now to ensure distinct subpopulations are protected, and resilience and connectivity are built, to allow them to prosper into the future.
Oil and gas exploration and seabed mining degrade habitats for Māui and Hector’s dolphins. When combined with low breeding populations and other threats the additional pressure severely restricts the ability of these dolphins to recover population numbers. Again, subsequent governments have chosen to prioritise extractive industry profits over the cumulative negative impacts on Māui and Hector’s dolphins.
There are emerging threats to Māui and Hector’s dolphins, including the disease toxoplasmosis, which require more research and understanding. But by far the largest threat to our dolphins is fishing. Emerging, uncertain threats require we act with more urgency to eliminate all controllable threats as fast as possible.