The New Zealand government has unveiled a plan to expand and strengthen the protection for the endangered Maui and Hector’s dolphins. Proposals for consultation for a revised Threat Management Plan to protect the dolphins was also released.
Extending to the boundaries of the West Coast North Island Marine Mammal Sanctuary south to Wellington and extending the Banks Peninsula Marine Mammal Sanctuary north to Kaikoura, south to Timaru, and offshore to 20 nautical miles are included in the proposals. The proposals also include the Department of Conservation developing an action plan to deal with toxoplasmosis, a disease that can affect dolphins and other marine mammals.
These precious dolphins are New Zealand treasure. The govt needs to act now to ensure their population’s increase and both species thrive. It is estimated that only 63 Maui dolphins are remaining, and Hector’s dolphins are nationally vulnerable with about 15,000 in New Zealand waters.