A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing it is clear that there is no need for further research, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.
“Labour backs the public call for protection. This report by Economists at Large shows that the overwhelming majority of the public understands that as well, and are prepared to put both their vote and their tax dollar behind better protection.
“We have a big responsibility as the guardians of both Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins. So far the government has chosen to be timid in its measures. The international scientific committee has said – for three years in a row - that the protections from the National government are inadequate.
“Labour also believes that it is not credible for us as a nation of exporters to promote ourselves as ‘Clean and Green – 100% Pure’, while we continue to have fishing practices that kill these dolphins. But Labour supports our fishing industry and believe that it is a sound investment for government to support the transition of the existing fishing industry to move to sustainable fishing practices.
“This could be a total win-win. We could save the dolphin species and have a sustainable fishing industry that would have a great new marketing tool. This marketing tool – sustainable fishing – will be a huge advantage in promoting our fish products to an increasingly discerning overseas market.
“At the moment we are in a position of being vulnerable to an international fishing boycott because our fishing practices are killing both dolphins and seabirds.
“We have a positive option for the future of both the dolphins and our fishing industry.”