Māui's used to be found all around NZs North Island (Te Ika o Maui - The Fish of Maui). Mauis and Hectors (Papakanua) dolphins (they are sub species
of the same group) were the most common dolphin along our coasts prior to the coming of the European.
The area of concern today is from North of Wanganui in the South up to around Maunganui Bluff in North Auckland.
However, their numbers have been falling dramatically, that back in the 1970s there were 2000 in number and now we are down to around just 55. From
30,000 Hectors in the 1970s, to 7,000 today, we can see where these species losses are trending.
Three Mauis dolphins a year are killed in trawl/set nets in NZ, which are their biggest point source threat. We have to eliminate all human induced
threats out of the habitat.
Even the IWC, the International Whaling Commission has chided New Zealand's efforts to save the world's rarest species of dolphin from extinction.
In their published report, the IWC's Scientific Committee sounded 'extreme concern' over the dwindling numbers of New Zealand's Maui's dolphin, adding
the Government's present management measures fell well short of what was needed to reverse their decline.
In NZ we have some of the best science at our disposal, yet we are in the throes of allowing the worlds smallest dolphin to get closer to extinction.
NZ the great conservation nation of clean green and wild can not afford to have its ecological/moral high ground eroded if we lose these important
creatures. The largest native animals connected to our country.
It is also important to note, that in NZ the persistence of organochlorides are being found in NZ cetaceans and their presence is higher in their blubber
than any other cetaceans on earth, partly because of our past agricultural practices, pesticides and fertilisers plus today, with toxoplasmosis from
of all things, cat litter.
The Fishery where the Maui dolphins reside is not a large or important fishery, so why is there government reluctance to take the lead? It wouldnt
make to much difference to our export earnings if we closed this fishery off. Green shelled muscles have a higher return than any fish in the Hector
and Maui fishing zones. This zone are known for lemon fish, rig, butterfish, etc termed low value and usually used for fish and chip shop food.
NZ once led the world with the Marine Animal Protection Act that was passed in 1978 and also the Resource Management Act, in 1991 ‘we were world
leaders in Conservation, but now the opposite is happening, as our moral capital is being eaten up by avarice and extreme shortsighted capital gains.
The moral compass that was once NZ is being eroded by clever speaking infiltrators of the mantra of extraction and growth.
Note, that Hector dolphins ‘Pakanua at Curio bay in Southland comprise a pod of around 40, and they come right into the shallows to play, swimming
between visitors legs wanting to have interaction with humans. Eco-tourism is definitely one way we can raise the consciousness of the plight dolphins
and also gain a 'localised' financial return.
The AIM of this important issue is to have ‘every NZer be a dolphin defender and when visiting NZ schools and talking to kids … the kids get
it … Christine enthusiastically states that social transformation happens in schools as well as families and can happen when we take the time
to empathise with nature and the ‘charismatic mega fauna that live in the waters that surround our country. What we do need is conscious change agents
to be in key nodal areas throughout the community and within both education, health and the business realm to awaken our connection to both other realities
and also being.
It is important that we consider that when we compare brain size, the common dolphin has the same size brain or slightly larger as that of a human
being and the giant sperm whale has a brain 3 times the size of a human. And both of these cetacean groups can communicate over large distances between
themselves. Sperm whales up to 3,000 kilometres or more, when deep enough down below the ocean surface. Scientists are finding that ceteceans have
a larger area of ‘spindle cells in their brain too and these are connected to compassion and the science is starting to say that some whales and dolphins
have more than we humans. Hence their peaceful approach towards humans.
This interview covers very interesting subject matter.
Including whales, seas lions and many marine species this interview gets you up todate with whats really happening on the shorelines of both our country
and our consciousness.
This is a very serious issue for NZers and especially Maori, who call dolphins popoto. To have such a friendly animal, named after a demi god who in
so many ways sets the stage for powerful Maori myths that carry much potency even today. That the North Island, Te Ika o Maui, was a fish, (and even
looks like a fish or ray) is very compelling.
We can not allow this NZ dolphin to become extinct.
EARTH FILES FOR THIS WEEK.
Have your say!
Most of Maui's dolphin habitat is open to trawling, and the Government have just allowed mining in their habitat too - including in their Marine Mammal
We need change if the last 55 are to survive.
Join us our Facebook page at 'Maui's & Hector's Dolphin Defenders'.