Home > News > Regional
Thursday June 12, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Thursday June 12, 2014 MYT 7:34:06 AM
WELLINGTON: New Zealand dismissed a call from top marine scientists to better protect a rare dolphin, saying existing safeguards for the creature dubbed “the hobbit of the sea” were sufficient.
The International Whaling Commission’s (IWC) scientific committee has warned that the Maui’s dolphin will become extinct unless fishing is banned in its habitat.
Researchers believe only around 50 Maui’s dolphins are left in their sole range – waters off the North Island’s west coast – and they estimate three-to-four are accidentally killed as fishing by-catch every year.
Conservation Minister Nick Smith disputed the figure, saying that a ban on set-netting covering an area of 6,200sq km had been effective in minimising deaths.
While the IWC wants a total fishing ban in a larger area extending 20 nautical miles from the coast, Smith said there was no evidence the dolphins were found outside the area that was already protected.
“Effectively, they are asking us to shut down the entire fishing industry all the way up the west coast of the North Island, way beyond areas where we have any evidence that the Maui’s dolphin are,” he said.
“I am not going to get in the business of banning fishing (in areas) where there is no evidence Maui’s dolphin exists.” — AFP
Tags / Keywords:
New Zealand, Maui, dolphin
Sultan Azlan Shah Cup a massive boost for Kiwis
Wonderful ‘wee’ experience: Hundertwasser toilets of Kawakawa, New Zealand
Sultan Azlan Shah Cup going the Oceania way
Kiwis bag second win in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup
Bad start cost Malaysia dear in Azlan Shah Cup opener
Taxing teething issues
Separate garbage from September or face fines
Northern Cypriots vote for new leader who can succeed in peace talks
Dad-to-be killed at bank
Khamenei says Iran nuclear weapons are a U.S. 'myth'
Federal Highway concession extension will lower PLUS toll rate, says Works Ministry
Master tactician Mourinho sets Chelsea apart
Around the world on two wheels
Learn about kid diseases through superhero capes
Copyright © 1995-2015 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)