Dangerous Fishing Methods Kill Endangered Species
The recent deaths of a Hector’s Dolphin calf at Wakefield Quay and an adult at Richmond Bay cause concern regarding the
lack of protection in the Tasman Bay area. Set netting in areas that are habited by Hector’s Dolphin are dangerous to
the survival of the species and are known to be the number one killer of the world’s rarest dolphin. Sea Shepherd Cove
Guardian and Hector’s Protectors Director Troy Coyle considers that if the government is serious about Hector’s Dolphin
management, then a set net ban should be imposed because “any net is a death trap for dolphins”.
The female adult was too badly decomposed for an autopsy because the set net was unattended. The calf is assumed to be
the offspring, still dependent upon the parent and staying close by until its own imminent death. Other marine mammals
have suffered a similar fate – in October, 2014 a dead seal pup was found to have been entangled in a set net at Onekaka
Beach, Golden Bay.
Recommendations that nets should be removed if a dolphin is sighted, with no nets set where dolphins live are
consistently ignored and never enforced. The Department of Conservation response has been to urge fishers and boaties to
take care with set nets “which is like asking a Japanese whaler to take care with a harpoon” says Sea Shepherd New
Zealand Director Michael Lawry.
There will continue to be Hector’s Dolphin deaths similar to Tasman Bay until there is adequate protection of a set net
ban in the habitat range of these dolphins up to the 100m depth contour.
About Sea Shepherd
Sea Shepherd is a non-profit conservation organisation whose mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter
of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species. Sea Shepherd uses innovative
direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities
on the high seas. By safeguarding the biodiversity of our delicately balanced oceanic ecosystems, Sea Shepherd works to
ensure their survival for future generations. Visit: http://www.seashepherd.org.nz/