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Conservation Efforts to Save Rare Dolphin Species Might Not Be Enough

4 years ago382 views

GeoBeats

Geo Beats

The rarest species of dolphins, known as Maui’s dolphins, live off the coast of New Zealand’s North Island and are being threatened by fishing practices and disease.

The rarest species of dolphins, known as Maui’s dolphins, live off the coast of New Zealand’s North Island and are being threatened by fishing practices and disease.

The government’s conservation efforts are being criticized by environmental activists as being a “death sentence.”

According to a 2012 survey, there are only 55 adult Maui’s dolphins left, and only 20 females capable off having a calf every two to four years.

Although the government of New Zealand has offered a protection zone for the animals, researchers studying the endangered dolphins say that isn’t enough to stop the species from facing extinction in the next couple of decades.

The government of New Zealand will extend the ban that was placed on fishing nets by 350 square kilometers.

Doctor Barbara Maas from the German conservation group NABU International criticized the government’s actions saying: “New Zealand's failure to protect the world's smallest and rarest dolphin is a bitter blow to marine conservation. New Zealand has ignored the facts and the advice of the world's scientific community to accommodate the commercial interests of its fishing industry.”

Experts claim that over 75 percent of the habitat of the Maui’s dolphins remains unprotected from fishing.