Time to act to protect Hector’s Dolphins

The death of a Hector’s Dolphin in a set net must lead to action from the Minister of Conservation, Ruth Dyson, Labour’s Conservation Spokesperson said today.

“Despite the fact that the Akaroa Harbour has been a Marine Mammal Sanctuary since 1988, there is a recreational setnetters concession from 1st April to 30 September.  So this dolphin has been needlessly killed by people acting within the rules. It’s time for the rules to be changed.


“It is extraordinary that this setnetting is allowed to continue, within a Marine Mammal Sanctuary, particularly given the huge tourist attraction that these dolphins create within the harbour. 

“A paper published two years ago by Stephen Dawson, David Fletcher and Elisabeth Slooten warned of the continued risk of this setnetting continuing in the Harbour. Now, sadly, their warnings have come true.

“The Minister of Conservation has said that she will rely on evidence to make decisions.  That is a good thing.  She has the evidence in this report, and the result of ignoring it in the form of this dead dolphin.

“It’s time for her to act now. Set netting needs to be excluded totally from the areas of dolphin habitation – urgently,” says Ruth Dyson.