Maui's dolphin in global spotlight

The plight of New Zealand's endangered Maui's dolphins has again been highlighted at an international level, this time by global conservation agency WWF.

WWF joins University of Otago dolphin specialist Associate Prof Liz Slooten in presenting papers on concerns about the dolphins' future to the international Whaling Commission Scientific Committee that is meeting in Slovenia.

The WWF paper presented to the commission outlined its beliefs the New Zealand Government was putting Maui's dolphins at risk of extinction by ignoring scientific evidence of their range and what protection was needed to save them.

''There is no protection for Maui's dolphins in a number of areas where, by the Government's own standard, there have been several reliable sightings,'' WWF marine advocate Milena Palka said.

The Government needed to extend protection for Maui's dolphins across their habitat.

''Estimates indicate there are only about 55 Maui's left. Their survival is on the line. We need to do everything we can to protect them. They are right on the edge and the world is watching.''

Prof Slooten's paper showed the protection measures announced last year would at best reduce the estimated Maui's dolphin bycatch from five to three dolphins a year but would not be enough to avoid continued population decline, Ms Palka said.

''The science shows that we can only afford one human-induced Maui's death every 10 to 23 years. Both these papers show that the Government's limited protection measures will only delay a Maui's extinction, not stop it,'' she said.

Maui Dolphins

Sorry, isn't existence based the on the premise adapt or perish?

I cannot understand the logic in pouring vast amount of resources including huge costs in trying to keep alive species that are doomed to extinction.

Prof Slooten openly admits that whatever mankind does it just pushes out that time. What a waste of resources and at what cost - the impositions forced on the fishing industry are unfair and completely over the top.

We continually read about various groups trying to apply pressure to save this or that, and in trying make some sense out of the argument in most instances it is a case of " It would be nice"

Sentimentality, does nothing to progress the reasoning.

"Save the Whales", "Save the Black Robin", etc.

Surely there are more urgent issues that need to be addressed, aged care, help the poor, better more affordable housing, etc?

Stay save out there and don't fret about losing the next dolphin, as nice as they are!