30th October 2014 and Dr Barbara Maas and Dr Liz Slooten, Champions of the smallest and one of the most threatened sub-species of dolphin, the Maui’s Dolphin, came to New Zealand House in London to hand over a petition of over 156,000 signatures to the New Zealand High Commission. From an estimated 1800 40 years ago, today there are only 50 Maui’s Dolphins left and they are only found around the North Island of New Zealand. While there are more Hector’s Dolphins (the other sub-species which are only found around the South Island of New Zealand) they too are in need of urgent protection. Both are at severe risk of entanglement in set-net fishing gear. The Maui’s Dolphin in particular is on the edge of extinction.
|Morgan, and mini Maui's and the Petition|
What do they need? Full and complete protection from harmful fishing methods across their range. The world’s leading independent scientists, including those from the International Whaling Commission, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Society for Marine Mammalogy, and World Cetacean Alliance partners including Dr Maas herself, all agree. So do 156,523 members of the public. People who do not want to see this small, charismatic, endemic and unique dolphin disappear; People who want future generations to be able to see these dolphins, wild and free.
Our little Morgan feels the same. With WCA partners Rachael Barber and Isabelle Sikora, Morgan joined a small but dedicated group of Maui’s and Hector’s Dolphins advocates to watch as Dr Maas and Dr Slooten handed over the results of this petition.
Then with the red buses, taxis and general London traffic rumbling behind us, we handed out leaflets and cheered every honk for Maui’s and Hector’s Dolphin.
Find out more about Hector’s and Maui’s Dolphin and the campaign to protect them at www.hectorsdolphin.com or the Hector’s and Maui’s Dolphin SOS Facebook page www.facebook.com/groups/hectorsandmauissos. Why not follow them on Twitter @HectorsMauisSOS, and let’s make as much noise for these the Hobbits of the Sea.