Wednesday, January 1

A new strategy to save the Maui dolphins is needed

Green MP, Gareth Hughes, says we can save the last of the Maui dolphins in his blogpost.  It is a hopeful message and optimistic in spite of the dire statistics surrounding the issue.  Here is my response:

There is no immediate political solution to the Maui's plight.  Take John Key's comments as a perfect example:

At 8:15 of John Key's interview with The Edge FM interview:

Question: Ask [Mr Key] why he is killing the remaining 55 Maui dolphins?

PM John Key: I’m not, but what would kill them? Send them off to a Labour party conference and they’d die of boredom.  (Studio laughs)  Anyway, there’s not 55. I drained the sea recently and added them up.  There’s 56.

(Studio reacts with awkward laughter).

For John Key to even make that joke should tell you everything.

I remember writing to (then) Conservation Minister, Kate Wilkinson, about the Maui dolphin issue, and she wrote back:

"As Minster of Conservation, I can assure you that protecting these dolphins is a high priority for the Government... [but] to use the 100-metre depth contour not tenable, and would have the effect of closing down much of the New Zealand inshore fin-fish fishery".

So essentially she is saying: We are aware that these dolphins are going extinct, but to save them would mean to upset the fishing industry of that area.

At this point I struggle to know where to place blame.

Do we blame the politicians for not reining in business for the sake of precious life, or do we blame the fishing industry for exploiting unsustainable limits in the same environment they are earning income from- simply because the laws allow for it?  In short, the politicians don't want to stop the fishing industry, and the fishing industry cannot stop themselves.

Both sides of this problem exacerbate the other, creating a vicious circle these dolphins are trapped within.

What can one do when the dolphin numbers are dropping to genetically impossible levels to continue, as the politicians sit on their hands, the fisherman carry on regardless, and everyone watches a species go extinct. Right. In. Front. Of. Us.

It's so incredibly frustrating!

I won't ever give up, that's not an option, but I also don't know what to do to change the situation. How about we try a different strategy?... Let's target the fishing industry around that area? Let's shame them. Let's shame the ACTUAL FISHERMAN that are doing this. Let's link the names of the companies they work for.

How do we begin that fight?...

Someone help me start this.

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