Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Net Gain For Endangered Dolphins

Date:
July 16, 2008
Source:
World Wildlife Fund
Summary:
The rarest marine dolphin in the world -- down to 111 individuals following decades of entanglement in fishing nets -- is now to receive protection over more of its range from the New Zealand government. The critically-endangered Maui's dolphins, living only along the west coast of New Zealand's North Island, could be functionally extinct within just 25 years largely as a result of a losing battle with fishing nets.

Hector's and Maui's dolphins, unable to detect the fine mesh of fishing nets, become entangled and die within minutes.
Credit: Copyright Martin Abel

The rarest marine dolphin in the world – down to 111 individuals following decades of entanglement in fishing nets – is to receive protection over more of its range from the New Zealand government following several years of sustained WWF campaigning.

The critically-endangered Maui’s dolphins, living only along the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island, could be functionally extinct within just 25 years largely as a result of a losing battle with fishing nets.

Unable to detect the fine mesh, dolphins can quickly become entangled and drown. Now Maui’s numbers are so low they could be functionally extinct, unless they are given total protection.

Since 2002, WWF has sustained pressure on the New Zealand government to remove all threats to the Maui’s dolphin and its South Island cousin, the Hector’s dolphin – which has suffered a population decline from an estimated 26,000 in the 1970s to just 7,270 today.

From 1 October 2008, set net and trawl fishing will be banned in more of the areas where Maui’s dolphins and Hector’s dolphins range.

“We’re thrilled the government has finally acted,” said Rebecca Bird, Marine Programme Manager for WWF-New Zealand. “The new measures mean fewer dolphins will die in fishing nets, and that’s a strong first step.

“After years of government delays and more dolphin deaths, we are now seeing real action to improve their chances of survival.”

Though a step forward, the protection measures don’t go far enough for the dolphin populations to recover. Maui’s dolphins won’t be protected inside harbours or in the southern extent of their alongshore range, while Hector’s dolphins along the west coast will remain unprotected from trawl fishing and only given limited protection from set nets.

Based on population modeling by University of Otago scientists Dr Elisabeth Slooten and Dr Steve Dawson, the new protection will at best hold Hector’s dolphin numbers at their current depleted level.

With such low numbers, this still leaves Hector’s and Maui’s dolphins at risk of extinction and WWF is continuing its campaign to ban net fishing throughout the dolphins’ range.

“Total protection is the only way to give the dolphins the chance to recover so they are no longer at risk of extinction,” said Bird. “We want a future where Hector’s and Maui’s return to their historic abundance and distribution. These measures are the first step towards this.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by World Wildlife Fund. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

World Wildlife Fund. "Net Gain For Endangered Dolphins." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080713182700.htm>.
World Wildlife Fund. (2008, July 16). Net Gain For Endangered Dolphins. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080713182700.htm
World Wildlife Fund. "Net Gain For Endangered Dolphins." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080713182700.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo

Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo

AP (July 30, 2014) River otters were hitting the water slides to beat the summer heatwave on Wednesday at Ichikawa City's Zoological and Botanical Garden. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins