Press Release – Maui’s & Hector’s Dolphin Education Action Inc
The Auckland Council’s Regional Development and Operations Committee meeting will today consider its submission on the Maui’s Dolphins Threat Management Plan currently under consultation by the Ministry of Primary Industries and Department of Conservation.
Campaigner Christine Rose says Maui’s dolphins should be a significant consideration to Aucklanders given their dwindling population concentrated around Auckland’s west coast. Swimmers and surfers commonly report interaction with Maui’s dolphins at popular surf beaches such as Muriwai and Piha. “But their whole habitat requires protection if the species is to survive”. “That includes west coast harbours, in waters out to 100m deep and in the dolphin corridors between the North and South Islands”.
“Maui’s dolphins are some of the most studied dolphins in the world, and science shows they cannot sustain a human induced death more than once in 10-23 years. Their numbers have declined from about 1000 in the 1970s to about 55 adults today”.
Maui’s are the world’s smallest and rarest dolphin, and with their friendly engaging nature and lovely colouring, they win the hearts of many, including Jamie McDell, Auckland songstress who is signed to EMI and whose songs have proven popular on the New Zealand music charts.
The debate at today’s meeting is likely to hinge on the reputational and moral consequences of not protecting the dolphins, versus the economic costs of doing so. While being a hotly debated topic, the meeting will also be lively with the contribution of Jamie’s You Tube hit song about Maui’s dolphins performed live, and activists dressed as, and carrying dolphins.