IWC calls on NZ Government to take action to prevent extinction of Māui’s dolphin
The Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) has said that urgent action is needed to prevent one of the world’s most endangered dolphins from becoming extinct.
The Māui’s dolphin is only found in New Zealand, a sub-species of the more numerous but still rare New Zealand dolphin. Found only in waters around the North Island, the population is estimated to be less than 50 individuals, with perhaps only a quarter of these breeding age female dolphins.
Entanglement in fishing nets is the main threat to the dolphins and the IWC’s latest report states that while the New Zealand Government has been carrying out research into the issue in recent years, it has not done enough to control fishing operations in the waters where the dolphins are found and reduce the threat.