INDEPENDENT NEWS

Kiwis Would Pay More for Fish ‘n’ Chips to Save Dolphins

Published: Mon 9 Dec 2013 01:02 PM
New Zealanders Willing to Pay More for Fish ‘n’ Chips to Save Dolphins
Every year, between 110 and 150 New Zealand (Hector’s and Maui’s) dolphins die accidentally in fishermen’s nets. In recent decades, the population has plunged from 30,000 to only 7,200. The North Island subspecies of this dolphin, called Maui’s dolphin, has just 54 adults left.
A just-released independent survey, commissioned by Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), has discovered that 80% of New Zealanders not only want protection measures, they are willing to help pay for them.
The NZ Dept. of Conservation (DOC) has created several marine reserves to protect the dolphins but they cover only a tiny percentage of the dolphins’ habitat.
Erich Hoyt, WDC Research Fellow and a lead author on the overall study says: “If ever a government had a mandate to take strong measures to protect a species, this is it.”
The survey found that:
• 63% of respondents would pay more for their fish to reduce the numbers of dolphins killed by fishing activities.
• 57% support the establishment of a large marine protected area covering the areas out to 100m depth where the dolphins live, removing commercial set netting, trawl fishing as well as recreational set netting from this area.
• 53% would support a ‘dolphin protection tax’ as an annual levy on every tax return.The study, using the survey data, determined that NZ residents, would be willing to pay NZ $355,000 to protect a dolphin. The 110-150 dolphins dying in nets every year represents an estimated NZ $46 million annual loss to the people of New Zealand ($355,000 x 130 = $46
million).
Economist Tristan Knowles, from Economists at Large who collaborated with WDC on the study,says: “This ‘cost’ is not surprising considering the dolphins are an endemic species to NZ waters, have low numbers, and are well known to the public.”
The researchers recognize that the study has implications for both the fishing and the tourism sectors of the economy. Mike Bossley, Australasian science director for Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) says: “With dolphins dying every week in nets, it can’t be good for the short- or long-term ‘100% pure, clean and green’ image of New Zealand to have to deal with so many carcasses of a beautiful dolphin found nowhere else in the world. It’s time to take serious steps before it’s too late.”
ends

Next in New Zealand politics

Inquiry launched into leak on Simon Bridges' expenses
By: RNZ
Nationwide rallies and marches tomorrow
By: NZEI Te Riu Roa
Historic pay equity settlement for education support workers
By: New Zealand Government
Gordon Campbell on the stereotypes about Jacinda Ardern
By: Gordon Campbell
The Nation: Former Aust Human Rights Commission president
By: The Nation
Prisoner has 9 boxes of documents seized
By: People Against Prisons Aotearoa
Single-use plastic bags to be phased out
By: New Zealand Government
MPs' spending expenses revealed
By: RNZ
Hipkins: Teachers' pay demand 'out of kilter'
By: RNZ
Teachers prepared for two-day strike
By: RNZ
It’s time for teachers to shine
By: New Zealand Council of Trade Unions
Minister, Stuart McCutcheon isn’t making teacher strike easy
By: Tertiary Education Union
PSA shows solidarity to striking NZEI members
By: Public Service Association
Govt must reach agreement and avoid more strikes
By: New Zealand National Party
Minister’s hands-off approach to strike reckless
By: New Zealand National Party
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media