1 Tahrcountry Musings: Hector's dolphins teetering on the edge

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hector's dolphins teetering on the edge

Hector's dolphins, considered to be the world's most endangered sea dolphin, are found only around New Zealand. The population has plummeted from 30,000 to around 7,000. The dip is mainly due to nylon fishing nets that came into use in the 1970s. Gill nets are drowning at least 23 Hector's dolphins a year. Trawl nets also kill an equal no of dolphins every year. Other villains are the recreational use of gill nets, along with pollution, boat strikes and marine mining.

A subspecies known as Maui's dolphins is down to fewer than 100 mammals.

If things continue at the present rate it will wipe out 62% of the population by 2050.It could very well sound the death knell for the dolphins pushing them beyond the point of no return.

Environmentalists from round the globe have appealed to New Zealand Government to enforce stricter fishing codes to stem the tide.

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