There will be a vigil outside the New Zealand High Commission on at 1pm Thursday, 30 October 2014, to support a 150,000-strong petition to save rare dolphins in the waters of the Pacific.
The signatures will be handed over by NABU Dr Barbara Maas, head of Endangered Species Conservation at the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU), and Dr Liz Slooten, a renowned Maui’s dolphin expert, who is currently on a rare visit from New Zealand to the UK.
Global attention is turning to New Zealand over its reluctance to protect the smallest and rarest marine dolphin on earth. Since the 1970s, Maui’s dolphin numbers have dropped by over 97 percent as a result of fishing. Today Maui’s dolphins survive solely in a small, declining population of some 50 individuals.
Maui’s are now so rare that they can sustain just one human induced fatality every 10 – 23 years. Yet fisheries bycatch alone kills three to four Mauis each year – more than 54 times the sustainable level. Extinction is imminent and inevitable under these conditions.
The international scientific community has repeatedly criticised New Zealand over its lack of effective protection for this small and declining population, and is unanimous in its demand for the dolphins’ immediate and full protection.
Maui’s dolphins struggle to survive in an increasingly hostile world. With their home riddled with nets and seismic blasts, and further oil and mining operations just around the corner, the strength of the petition hopes to show that the global community wants to see Maui’s dolphins survive.
Date: Thursday, 30 October 2014
Time: 13:00 for 13:30
Location: New Zealand House, 80 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4TQ