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Labour acknowledges industry leadership to protect Māui dolphins

Fishing companies such as Sanfords and Moana NZ are stepping up to meet the challenge of protecting Māui dolphins, says Labour’s Conservation Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta.

“The announcement to implement an action plan that will seek to minimise harm on the Māui dolphin species is a welcome move to eliminate commercial fishing related threats along the West Coast of the North Island where the Māui dolphin lives.

“For this to work in partnership with Industry, the Government needs to do its bit and make sure that the proposed workplan to gather evidence to better understand the extent of the impact will be necessary.

“I hope that the National-led Government will see the advantages of joining a collaboration for this purpose to meet the preferred transition period moving fishing vessels away from conventional trawling to other methods that better limit the by-catch of Māui dolphins.

“There are several advantages that the Government would gain by working with these industry leaders, quota holders and environmental groups and we hope that they rise to the challenge that will see the removal of set netting in the West Coast Harbours, creating a regulated system for electronic monitoring across NZ’s fishing fleet to gather data and footage fishing activities, to work on practical transition plans to support the move away from current fishing methods to less harmful methods.

“Once again the Leadership and co-operation demonstrated by these fishing companies will be a welcome move in the right direction and a huge encouragement to advocacy and community groups who seek to protect our unique Popoto or Māui dolphins,”says Nanaia Mahuta.