國家黨政府並宣布將把9月實施的定置網臨時管制措施改為永久性，管制地區為塔拉納基海岸；並且在Pariokariwa Point和Waiwhakaiho河之間的海岸外2至7海浬處禁用定置網。初級產業部長Nathan Guy表示，初級產業部將提供每年$400,000的資金，供獨立觀察員監督新措施是否確實執行。「計畫也包括組成毛伊海豚研究諮詢小組，執行研究工作並和利害關係者協調合作確保毛伊海豚的生存。」Guy說。
The New Zealand government Monday announced protections for Maui’s dolphins but the Green Party warned that these measures will not stop their slide into extinction. Just 55 adult Maui’s dolphins still exist. Found only in New Zealand waters and classed as Critically Endangered, the world’s smallest and rarest dolphin species is barely clinging to survival.
“The National Government is recklessly risking the extinction of the Maui’s dolphin,” said Green Party oceans spokesperson Gareth Hughes.“The government’s measures will still allow deadly fishing methods to be used in areas of Maui’s dolphin habitat.”
The National Government announced it will make permanent the interim set net protection measures put in place in September. The measures regulate fishing nets along the Taranaki coast, a stretch of the North Island’s west coast.
In addition, the government will ban the use of set nets from between two and seven nautical miles from the coast between Pariokariwa Point and the Waiwhakaiho River, also on the Taranaki coast.
“Our greatest concern is for the Critically Endangered Maui’s dolphin,” said Conservation Minister Dr. Nick Smith. “The greatest threat to the Maui’s dolphin is set-netting, with two confirmed and three likely deaths since 2000.”
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said his ministry will fund $400,000 per year for the ongoing cost of independent observers to ensure these measures are obeyed.
“The plan also includes the establishment of a Maui’s dolphin Research Advisory Group to undertake research and work with stakeholders to maintain ongoing cooperation to ensure the survival of the Maui’s dolphin,” Guy said.
Maui’s dolphin is the North Island sub-species of the Hector’s dolphin, which is also covered by the government’s new Threat Management Plan.
The increase population estimates of Hector’s dolphins arises from an aerial survey last summer which recorded a population range of between 6,300 and 13,100. A winter survey found between 5,200 and 10,600 Hector’s dolphins.
But the Greens are not persuaded that the new measures will safeguard dolphins. “The government is still allowing the use of deadly trawl nets and set nets within parts of the West Coast North Island marine mammal sanctuary where dolphins could swim,” said Hughes.
“The government should listen to the scientific consensus that gillnet and trawl fisheries need to be closed in all areas where Maui’s dolphins live, out to the 100 metre depth contour,” he said. “We can’t afford to kill even one more Maui’s dolphin.”
The International Whaling Commission’s 2012 Scientific Committee, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and the Society for Marine Mammology, with its 2,000 scientists, have called for all areas where these dolphins are found to be closed to gillnets and trawl nets out to the 100 metre depth contour.
Another threat to the Maui’s dolphins comes as Texas oil giant Anadarko begins exploratory drilling in the Taranaki and Canterbury basins over the next few months.
A deep-sea oil spill could devastate some of New Zealand’s favorite beaches, with the effects stretching as far as the International Date Line, suggests new computer modeling commissioned by Greenpeace New Zealand.
Greenpeace NZ asked scientists to make detailed estimates of how far an oil slick could stretch based on wind, tide and sea currents.