Maui's dolphin used to be known as the North Island Hector's dolphin. Recent research has recognised that the North Island dolphins are genetically different from Hector's dolphins found around the South Island and Maui's dolphin is now classified as a separate sub-species. On this webpage you will notice reference to both the North Island Hector's Dolphin and Maui's Dolphin, which is one and the same animal.
| Video from Te Heteri | Plight of the Maui | Email from Jeanette Fitzsimons | Mutilated Hector's Dolphin | Dolphins Endangered | Letter to the Department of Conservation| Letter from Jeanette Fitzsimons | Ban Sought Over Dolphins | Dolphins Remain in Danger | Dolphin Saviours | Hector's Dolphin Internet Links
Kia Kaha - Hector's Dolphin
Kia Kaha - Hector's Dolphin


Maui's Dolphin Feature on Maori Television



Acknowledgement to Maori Television current affairs programme, Te Heteri and host, Wena Harawira. Features Ngati Te Wehi's efforts to conserve the Maui's Dolphins.| Video from Te Heteri | Plight of the Maui | Email from Jeanette Fitzsimons | Mutilated Hector's Dolphin | Dolphins Endangered | Letter to the Department of Conservation| Letter from Jeanette Fitzsimons | Ban Sought Over Dolphins | Dolphins Remain in Danger | Dolphin Saviours | Hector's Dolphin Internet Links


Plight of the Maui


Waikato Times, Saturday, April 12, 2003The survival of a rare dolphin has divided Kawhia and Raglan’s fishing and conservation groups. Lester Thorley reports
On a glorious autumn morning Aotea Harbour’s ebb tide is the colour of milky greenstone. Two big gulls ride the surface flow towards breakers at the bar, which send spray into the sky like bushfire smoke.
Davis Apiti walks ankle deep in this place he regards as the lifeblood of his whakapapa: “Can you feel that spiritual connection?”
Oral history of Apitis’s Ngati Te Wehi hapu recounts that their tupuna (ancestor) came from Hawaiiki to the upper reaches of Aotea Harbour, near Kawhia, on the back of the dolphin Panereira. The man was so white from time in the sea that he covered himself in black sand to warm up.
As Kaitiaki (guardian) of his hapu’s traditions and treasures, 39-year-old Apiti is driven to protect the last North Island maui dolphins off Waikato and King Country’s west coast as they swim toward extinction.
Ngati Te Wehi regard all dolphins as descendants of Panereira, and will fight for the survival of the small, light grey, cream and black mammals. They were formerly called hector’s dolphin until found to be genetically distinct from the South Island species.
Most estimates put the population at about 100, making the maui (up to 1.7m long) the world’s rarest marine dolphin, and ranking its plight alongside the kakapo.
Conservationists fear that 25 deaths reports since 1985 in the maui’s main habitat, from Dargaville to New Plymouth, are a severe understatement. Maui suffer natural mortality and shark predation, but conservationists say fishing net deaths mean its natural breeding rise of about 2 per cent a year is not enough to sustain the population.
They believe the expansion of mechanised gill netting since 1970 has cut the maui population from 400 to 100.
Trying to prevent the maui’s extinction is a classic clash between conservationists and fishers, with other fisheries ministry as referee.
One feeling the opponents seem to share is a liking for the maui, which live about 20 years in family pods of two to eight. The dolphins seem to enjoy human interaction.
Fishers say they want to see the maui survive and have proposed a variety of safeguards to limit their deaths.
But conservation groups say zero tolerance to fishing-related deaths is needed if the maui population is to recover. Three dead maui washed up in February last year, two mired in nets, spurred them on.
The Government duly put a recreational and commercial set-net ban in place in January, but conservationists say that’s not stringent enough. Trawlers and harbour netter are now in their sights.
The fishing industry says conservationists scaremonger by revising maui population estimates lower and lower without evidence. Some fishers believe climate change, inbreeding, and ocean pollution may have doomed the maui, not their nets. The ministry admits current knowledge of the maui population, last scientifically estimated at 134 in 1985 is “imperfect”.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) may fund a new census.
Fishers in small settlements such as Raglan and Kawhia, who have used nets for decades, feel they are being made scapegoats. Banned from setting nets within four nautical miles of the coast, the fishers can no longer exploit some lucrative inshore fish species.
Feelings boiled over when an angry fisherman assaulted a conservationist in Raglan just before Christmas.
Escalating fears for the maui first led to a set-net ban along more than half of the North Island’s west coast in August 2001. After a challenge by the fishing industry, a High Court judge set aside the ban.
But in December last year, following a correctly notified submission process, fisheries ministry chief executive Arthur Hore recommended the 2001 ban be reintroduced.
During submission interviews, three Raglan commercial fishers admitted having caught maui in set nets. Kawhia fishers said they had never caught one. Trawlers said they hadn’t caught maui and do not see them in their fishing grounds. Conservationists dispute the trawlers’ statements.
They point out the South Island trawlers made similar claims, but when observers were on board for 89 out of 351 fishing days, six hector’s dolphins were snared.
The fishing industry regards last year’s submission process as a farce, particularly after, under the Official Information Act, it obtained a draft decision letter and press releases prepared by staff while Fisheries Minister Pete Hodgson was still supposed to be deliberating.
Hodgson denied that it was a fait accompli but signed off on the new set-net ban.
FOR Davis Apiti, there can be no compromise. He says the plight of the maui is symbolic of the need to Tainui to stop marine resources along its coast being exploited for commercial gain.
“I want my children to know what they have, what they were blessed with. I don’t want them to come up to me when the maui is gone and say ‘why didn’t you try harder?’, the kaitiaki says. “I want to be able to say I tried my best.”
Apiti has spent countless unpaid hours managing websites and publicising the importance of the maui’s survival. He had been frustrated of the maui’s survival. He has been frustrated with his attempts to convince Tainui kaumatua of the urgent need to draw a conservation line in the west coast ironsands.
“It’s no good them just saying ‘we support you’.”
His voice is bitter when he talks about a photo of a maui that was found filleted on a beach near Westport: “They would protect a human before they hurt us, so why are we killing them?”
Apiti believes an updated maui census is desperately needed, and Ngati Te Wehi wants the netting ban extended to 15 nautical miles offshore, policed by independent inspectors, not the fisheries ministry.
“I wouldn’t trust the people who are doing the damage to check the rules are being enforced.”
He has sympathy for fishers in his close-knit community but won’t back down.
“It it (the maui) dies, a little bit of all of us (Ngati Te Wehi) dies. If they are in trouble we at least need to put up a fight.”
FROM their balcony on a hill above Te Waitere on the eastern edge of Kawhia Harbour, Neil Cleaver and his son Paul can see the Kawhia bar and far out to where the Tasman Sea finally merges into the sky.
The idyllic setting does little, however, to improve their mood as they talk about their future after 15 years gill netting the inshore west coast fishery.
“We’re guilty until we prove ourselves innocent,” says 62-year-old Neil, who is “bloody angry” about fishers being blamed for the maui’s plight.
Paul, 33, adds: “Fishermen aren’t dolphin murderers. We don’t want to catch them full stop. We are farmers harvesting the fishery.”
The pair say they have never snared a maui and haven’t seen one for about three years. But since the ban was put in place, they have lost thousands of dollars’ income and will get no compensation.
“They’ve just said ‘sorry sunshine, your days are numbered’,” Neil says.
The Cleavers drove to meetings in Auckland, New Plymouth, Raglan and Kawhia last year to plead their case. From their 8.5m boat Shamrock, the Cleavers use gill nets – usually two 1000m nets at one time, with weights to keep them on the sea floor, and floats to keep them vertical. They say that if a maui hit one of their nets, the width would not be enough to completely wrap it like a deadly blanket.
Yet they have lost access to the rig (sand shark) fishery, their best earner. Rig are close to the shore this time of year but with that fishery cut off, the Cleavers say they now face much more dangerous trips on the notorious west coast, at least 12 nautical miles offshore, to seek school sharks.
For Neil’s wife Verena, it is a stressful time. She watches from the front room for the men to return from the longer journeys. “When the weather turns I really freak.”
The Cleavers were upset when conservationists told them at heated meetings that a dolphin’s life was worth more than a fisherman’s.
They say suggestions that they change to long-lining are simplistic; rig can’t be caught on hooks and their quotas for snapper and gurnard are not big enough to replace the missing rig income.
The Cleavers fear black market amateurs, with a more cut-throat attitude to maui than commercial fishers, will fill the rig demand void. They say the result will be maui snared in abandoned nets.
Paul says after 15 years fishing, he probably knows more about the maui, which he loves to see and is interested to learn more about, than most so-called experts, and certainly Pete Hodgson.
“Who the hell’s he to decide? He’s never been out here.
“If they came to me with scientific proof that commercial fishermen are killing off the dolphins, I’d give up fishing tomorrow.”
As Neil’s career reaches its twilight, he says the ban was almost the last straw.
“I would have chucked it in if it wasn’t for Paul’s future. But when you’ve got fishing in your blood it’s pretty hard to give up”.
UP the coast, Fred Lichtwark is adamant: “I’m no greeny”.
A collection of rods in the corner of his plant nursery office near Raglan reflect his love of fishing. He’s worked on fishing boats and believes the sea’s bounty should be harvested – but not at any cost.
He crewed on a trawler which hauled in a maui and felt numb when he saw its lifeless body. Even hardened fishermen on board believed Tangaroa’s (god of the sea) anger would limit their catch that day, 41-year-old Licthwark says.
The punch in the head he got from a fisherman livid at Lichtwark’s whistleblowing submission about that and two other unreported maui trawling deaths came while he was driving through Raglan on a Saturday morning in December. His assailant, a former crewmate, pleaded guilty in Hamilton District Court this year and was fined $300. Lichtwark looks over his shoulder more often these days when he goes into town. But it hasn’t quelled his passion to save the maui: “It makes me dig my heels in.”
Lichtwark, sick of the degradation of the marine ecosystem, helped found Whaingaroa Harbour Care eight years ago.
“My grandparents were from Raglan. I’ve got an affinity with this place which is incredibly strong. When I started (harbour care) all I wanted was to be able to catch a fish when I retired.”
The removal of his honorary fisheries officer warrant after a clash with the ministry indicated Lichtwark’s unwillingness to back down on environmental issues.
Lichtwark wants the netting ban distance extended, and trawlers, which he ways leave the sea bed a barren wasteland, forced further out. His aim is not to halt all commercial fishing; he says long-lining is a viable alternative to netting.
He has sympathy fro the impact on established fishers: “But I still think it doesn’t give them any right to cause the extinction of a species. Who the hell are they to take such a selfish bloody attitude?”
Last month a fishing friend told Lichtwark about seeing a maui and a 30cm calf near Raglan.
It’s the sort of news that stops him and Davis Apiti from giving up on this special descendant of Panereira.
| Video from Te Heteri | Plight of the Maui | Email from Jeanette Fitzsimons | Mutilated Hector's Dolphin | Dolphins Endangered | Letter to the Department of Conservation| Letter from Jeanette Fitzsimons | Ban Sought Over Dolphins | Dolphins Remain in Danger | Dolphin Saviours | Hector's Dolphin Internet Links



EMAIL FROM JEANETTE FITZSIMONS


Tena koe Davis
I appreciate receiving the copy of your email submission on Hector's dolphin...
Your submission was very compelling. The Green Party is also extremely concerned about the plight of Hector's dolphin, particularly in the North Island, and we will also be doing all we can to persuade the Government to take strong action to protect their future.
Thank you for your persistence and your hard work as kaitiaki of this wonderful animal.
Kind regards

Jeanette Fitzsimons
Green Party Co-Leader
http://www.greens.org.nz/
| Video from Te Heteri | Plight of the Maui | Email from Jeanette Fitzsimons | Mutilated Hector's Dolphin | Dolphins Endangered | Letter to the Department of Conservation| Letter from Jeanette Fitzsimons | Ban Sought Over Dolphins | Dolphins Remain in Danger | Dolphin Saviours | Hector's Dolphin Internet Links


Dead and Filleted Hector's Dolphin!
Dead and Filleted Hector's Dolphin!

"This is timely justification of a need for a ban on netting rather than the soft options put forward in the discussion paper."
DOC confirm there were two set netters working in the area at the time and there was no reporting of this as required.
Following the release of this photo Jeanette Fitzsimons of the Green Party has released this statement:
Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons today said protection measures may be required to protect the endangered Hector's dolphin after a professionally filleted carcass was found on a Westport beach.
Ms Fitzsimons said a photograph of the mutilated dolphin had been anonymously forwarded to her by a concerned local and she had taken the issue up with the regional Conservator of the Department of Conservation.
"I am told the dolphin had marks from a gill net. These are set in the sea just off river mouths and we know that two such nets were operating in the area at the time.
"Hector's dolphins are a protected and endangered species and under the Marine Mammals Protection Act all deaths must be reported. Whoever found this one in their net did not report it, neither did the person who filleted it to use its meat. It was left to an anonymous member of the public."
Ms Fitzsimons said that the death of even one Hector's dolphin was very significant as the population was on a knife edge. A census ten years ago estimated a total population of 1320 individuals. However they breed so slowly that this population cannot sustain more than 2.6 deaths a year from unnatural causes.
Last year five deaths were reported to DOC, the year before it was nine. This year there have already been two in three months. The majority of them were killed in fishing nets.
"The Greens are extremely concerned that, despite the endangered status of this rare and beautiful animal there is someone out there who sees it as just a commodity.
"Currently there is a strategy being developed for the protection of the North Island Hector's dolphin. If more dolphins continue to be killed we must look at national restrictions on the use of coastal set net fishing if we are to save this species."
Ms Fitzsimons said there is a growing awareness of the precarious position of the Hector's dolphin among the West Coast community. "The Green Party negotiated funding in the last budget for conservation awareness campaigns one of which is designed to raise the profile of the Hector's dolphin on the West Coast.
"It is encouraging that a member of the public reported this death. But it is very disappointing that some have still to learn."
http://www.greens.org.nz/
The picture may be reproduced.
Jeanette Fitzsimons:




04 470 6665 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 04 470 6665 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

; Jonathan Hill (press secretary):



04 470 6719 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 04 470 6719 end_of_the_skype_highlighting


| Video from Te Heteri | Plight of the Maui | Email from Jeanette Fitzsimons | Mutilated Hector's Dolphin | Dolphins Endangered | Letter to the Department of Conservation| Letter from Jeanette Fitzsimons | Ban Sought Over Dolphins | Dolphins Remain in Danger | Dolphin Saviours | Hector's Dolphin Internet Links


=DOLPHINS ENDANGERED=

(Article by Waitomo News, December 5, 2000)
Hector's dolphins has just been declared an endangered species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

The 2000 IUCN Red List of threatened species has been released, just as discussions seek to create a second protected area for the dolphin off the west coast of the North Island between Mokau and Kaipara.

IUCN is the world's largest conservation agency, bringing together 76 countries, 111 government agencies, 732 non government organizations, and some 10,000 scientists and experts from 181 countries.

University of Otago researchers Dr Liz Slooten and Dr Steve Dawson, who recently carried out a nationwide population survey for Hector's dolphins, say with a population of only
3000-4000 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 3000-4000 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
, "Hector's dolphins are one of the rarest dolphin species on earth."

Hector's dolphins are only found in New Zealand. A collaborative project with Franz Pilcher from Auckland University showed that the population is fragmented into at least three genetically different sub-populations.

One each off the east and west coasts of the South Island, and one off the North Island west coast.

The Otago team are also researching threats to the species, in particular dolphin entanglement in gillnets. Dr Slooten explains: "Our research has shown that bycatch in gillnets is causing Hector's dolphin populations to decline in several areas around NZ.

The North Island Hector's dolphin is particularly at risk, and has been listed as critically endangered by the IUCN. This is the highest risk category, and underlines the need for immediate management action.

"This is obviously bad news for Hector's dolphin, but we hope that this international recognition will lead to greater efforts to solve the conservation problems."
| Video from Te Heteri | Plight of the Maui | Email from Jeanette Fitzsimons | Mutilated Hector's Dolphin | Dolphins Endangered | Letter to the Department of Conservation| Letter from Jeanette Fitzsimons | Ban Sought Over Dolphins | Dolphins Remain in Danger | Dolphin Saviours | Hector's Dolphin Internet Links


LETTER TO THE DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION


Department of Conservation

HAMILTON

Dear Sir/Madam

In regards to the recent plight of the Hector's Dolphin we wish to notify your department that we are extremely disappointed that after four years of lobbying for the protection of the Hector's Dolphin that you have not heeded or taken our concerns with the proper respect for these taonga. We wish to advice you that until appropriate action is taken, in partnership with the tangata whenua, the Department of Conservation is not welcome in Ngati te Wehi's area.
Yours faithfully
Davis Apiti

Kaitiaki

Okapu Marae

| Video from Te Heteri | Plight of the Maui | Email from Jeanette Fitzsimons | Mutilated Hector's Dolphin | Dolphins Endangered | Letter to the Department of Conservation| Letter from Jeanette Fitzsimons | Ban Sought Over Dolphins | Dolphins Remain in Danger | Dolphin Saviours | Hector's Dolphin Internet Links


LETTER FROM GREEN PARTY CO-LEADER, JEANETTE FITZSIMONS


29 June 2000


Kia ora Davis,


Thank you for the opportunity to meet with yourself, John Apiti, John Hart and your very kind Mother-in-law last Sunday.


I have followed up our meeting with some enquiries.


I am told that the Ministry of Fisheries is preparing a regulatory proposal for the protection of Hector's dolphin to present to their Minister, Pete Hodgson, in the next week or so. Once he approves this informal discussion document it will be circulated for public submissions soon after. There will be a six week submission period during which variations on the proposed options can be submitted.


A statutory proposal will then go to the Minister for approval.


It is expected regulations for protecting the dolphins could be in place as early as September but that might be a little optimistic.


While I support and commend your initiative for a section 186A, in light of the above, I believe it will not be supported by the Minister. A 186A proposal have an informal application process in which the Minister will seek advice from his officials. My information is that this advice will be not to proceed as the above proposal will give a wider area of protection.


That is not to say that you should not make a 186A application as by applying you are increasing the pressure on the Minister and the Ministry to perform.


I understand the proposals will cover: - Regulated closure of recreational gill-netting - Regulated closure of commercial gill-netting in areas of known dolphin habitat - Possible use of pingers/video monitoring in areas outside the above - Place of observers on trawlers operating in the inshore zone


The offshore extent of the protected area as well as the along-shore extent is being debated at present based on Liz's and other's data.


These boundaries and measures will all be up for public submission.


The Ministry Scientists are taking seriously the workshop position that by-catch must be reduced to virtually zero if the measures are to be any use at all. However the Ministry will be subject to many alternative viewpoints and it will require all of us to maintain pressure for as wide measures as possible. As mentioned on Sunday I will be making use of Ministerial questions in this regard and will keep you informed of the response.


Thank you again for all you are doing to protect this unique and beautiful creature.


Yours sincerely


Jeanette Fitzsimons

MP for Coromandel
| Video from Te Heteri | Plight of the Maui | Email from Jeanette Fitzsimons | Mutilated Hector's Dolphin | Dolphins Endangered | Letter to the Department of Conservation| Letter from Jeanette Fitzsimons | Ban Sought Over Dolphins | Dolphins Remain in Danger | Dolphin Saviours | Hector's Dolphin Internet Links


BAN SOUGHT OVER DOLPHINS


Hector's Dolphin in Gill Net
Hector's Dolphin in Gill Net
(Article by Waikato Times, Wednesday 21 June, 2000)Kawhia's Davis Apiti is seeking a ban on fishing along the North Island's west coast in a bid to save the endangered North Island Hector's Dolphin. He is applying the ban on commercial net fishing under section 186 of the Fisheries Act and will be urging other marae along the west coast, north of Kawhia and south of Kaipara Harbour where the dolphin lives, to do the same. But Raglan's Roydon Hartsone, who has worked in the fishing industry along the west coast for the last 30 years, said the people calling for bans had no real knowledge of the dolphin and the biggest threat to the dolphins were sharks. He said people did not appreciate the social and economic impact such a ban would have in coastal areas. Mr Apiti agreed little was known about the dolphins but said a ban should be put in place now to protect the remaining 100 from gill nets. Mr Apiti is applying for the ban on behalf of Ngati te Wehi, Aotea Harbour's hapu, as the kaitiaki (conservation officer). The ban would cover the hapu's boundary, between Tauratahi Point, north of Kawhia harbour, and Taranaki Point, north of Aotea Harbour, and 7km out to sea to Gannet Island. Environmental groups including the Green Party and Forest and Bird Protection Society have also called from bans on gill net fishing where the dolphin lives. The Fisheries Ministry is also preparing a briefing paper for the Fisheries and conservation Ministers to be presented in the next three weeks. Article Ends Here
OUR RESPONSE
  • Having a such a ban in place will either prove for or against the argument that gill net fishing has contributed toward the demise of the North Island Hector's Dolphin.
  • Is it not better to put a ban in place now than regret it later?
  • If sharks were the biggest threat to these dolphins then one would expect the South Island Hector's Dolphins to also be diminishing in numbers, even in the Marine Protected areas. However, this is not the case and numbers are in fact increasing.
  • Finally, some food for thought - If commercial fishermen state that they are not the cause of the demise of Hector's Dolphins then why is there great interest in the use of set net pingers on nets to deter the dolphins?
| Video from Te Heteri | Plight of the Maui | Email from Jeanette Fitzsimons | Mutilated Hector's Dolphin | Dolphins Endangered | Letter to the Department of Conservation| Letter from Jeanette Fitzsimons | Ban Sought Over Dolphins | Dolphins Remain in Danger | Dolphin Saviours | Hector's Dolphin Internet Links


DOLPHINS REMAIN IN DANGER


Ngati Te Wehi kaitiaki Davis Apiti wears the newly produced'Save the Hector's Dolphin' T-Shirt
Ngati Te Wehi kaitiaki Davis Apiti wears the newly produced'Save the Hector's Dolphin' T-Shirt
(Article by Waitomo News, Wednesday 23 May, 2000)The recent national conference that considered the plight of the almost extinct Hector's Dolphin failed to take immediate steps to protect the mammal, says Ngati Te Wehi spokesman Davis Apiti. The Aotea Harbour hapu attended the Wellington conference earlier this month to lobby the Ministry of Fisheries and Department of Conservation to protect the dolphin from commercial fishing. This is because they have a spiritual connection with the mammal. Davis said the attending academics decided to conduct more research and to review the situation in three months time. He said this worried Ngati Te Wehi because the information it received at a recent Okapu Marae hui said the population was declining (Waitomo News, May 4). Hector's Dolphin was a slow breeder and was being caught in the gill nets of commercial fishers, meaning there were only about 100 of the North Island sub-species left in the area between New Plymouth and Kaipara Harbour. "If nothing is done soon, the academics won't have anything to study," he said.

| Video from Te Heteri | Plight of the Maui | Email from Jeanette Fitzsimons | Mutilated Hector's Dolphin | Dolphins Endangered | Letter to the Department of Conservation| Letter from Jeanette Fitzsimons | Ban Sought Over Dolphins | Dolphins Remain in Danger | Dolphin Saviours | Hector's Dolphin Internet Links


DOLPHIN SAVIOURS


L-R Franz Pichler, Dr Liz Slooten, Dr Steve Dawson, Kirsty Russell at Okapu Marae
L-R Franz Pichler, Dr Liz Slooten, Dr Steve Dawson, Kirsty Russell at Okapu Marae
(Article by Waitomo News, Thursday 4 May, 2000)The North Island Hector's dolphin is on the brink of extinction, and Aotea Harbour kaitiaki Davis Apiti believes the government must act now to save it. Davis made his views clear at a hui at Okapu Marae last Saturday, attended by Auckland and Otago University scientists and Department of Conservation staff. Davis said something needed to be done quickly because Ngati Te Wehi would impose their own protection methods if the government didn't act. "The Ministry of Fisheries have been talking in circles for the past few years. But one can stand in a circle for only so long. We have got to do something. If the Ministry will not do it, we will. You guys are the government - do your job." Mr Apiti's passion comes from his whanau's ancestral connection with the Hector's dolphin. Their ancestor, Panereira came to Aotearoa on the back of a dolphin, he said. This gave them an obligation to save the dolphins. Mr Apiti held the hui to organise his people's argument for next week's conference in Wellington that will consider if restrictions on fishing need to be imposed to save the dolphin.
L-R Franz Pichler, Dr Liz Slooten, Davis Apiti, Dr Steve Dawson, Kirsty Russell at Okapu Marae
L-R Franz Pichler, Dr Liz Slooten, Davis Apiti, Dr Steve Dawson, Kirsty Russell at Okapu Marae
Auckland University researcher Kirsty Russell said MoF, DoC, non-governmental organizations, scientists, fishing and seafood industry representatives would attend the conference. The scientists outlined the current state of the Hector's dolphin population at the hui, and gave reasons. Otago University lecturer Steve Dawson said only about 100 Hector's dolphins remained in the area between New Plymouth and the Kaipara Harbour. Otago University head of environmental studies Elisabeth Slooten said this was down from about 300 in 1970. Dr Dawson said commercial and recreational gill net fishing was a major reason for this - "as far as we know." They said Hector's dolphins were the world's smallest dolphins, were only found in New Zealand and there were only about




3000-4000 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 3000-4000 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

left. The Hector's dolphin can be distinguished from other dolphins by their small size and rounded head , flippers and fin on the back. Dr Dawson said they didn't breed quickly, and they weren't seen in places they used to be. Significantly, he said, unlike other dolphins, Hector's dolphins stayed in one location. "This means if the Aotea Hector's dolphins die out, they won't be replaced by dolphins from other areas," he said. "The only area where the Hector's dolphin population was increasing was in the Bank's Peninsula sanctuary. The North Island Hector's dolphin is threatened with imminent extinction," he said.
| Video from Te Heteri | Plight of the Maui | Email from Jeanette Fitzsimons | Mutilated Hector's Dolphin | Dolphins Endangered | Letter to the Department of Conservation| Letter from Jeanette Fitzsimons | Ban Sought Over Dolphins | Dolphins Remain in Danger | Dolphin Saviours | Hector's Dolphin Internet Links


HECTOR'S DOLPHIN INTERNET LINKS


The Kiwi Conservation Club. What is a dolphin? Who's Hector? Is it a Hector's Dolphin? Facts. Life, Play and Babies. Dolphins in Danger. How can You Help? Gill Nets. Resources.

http://www.kcc.org.nz/animals/hectorsdolphin.htm
The New Zealand Whale and Dolphin Trust was launched in 1992 by researchers Drs Liz Slooten and Steve Dawson, along with Trust Patron Sir Geoffrey Palmer to foster research and effective conservation of whales and dolphins in New Zealand.

http://nzwhaledolphintrust.tripod.com/home/
The World Wildlife Fund's (WWF) website about the North Island Hector's Dolphin. Includes information about the North Island Hector's Dolphin, sightings and strandings, physical features of Hector's Dolphins, and the opportunity to submit a sightings report if you have seen the rarest dolphin in the world.

http://www.hectorsdolphin.org.nz
The Department of Conservation's press release designating the Hector's dolphin as a threatened species under the Marine Mammals Protection Act and a response

http://physeter.ml.duke.edu/hectors201299.html
The Marine Mammals Protection Act

http://rangi.knowledge-basket.co.nz/gpacts/reprint/text/1995/an/018.html
More information about Dr Slooten's and Steve Dawson's work

http://www.otago.ac.nz/marinescience/mammals
What the Department of Conservation has written about their role in protection, conservation and management of marine mammals such as the Hector's dolphins

http://www.doc.govt.nz/cons/marine/marine_mammels.htm
The Minister of Fisheries, Pete Hodgson

http://www.executive.govt.nz/minister/hodgson/index.html
An image of the Hector's dolphin

http://atschool.eduweb.co.uk/jblincow/dolphin/dolhec.htm
An opportunity to see the Hector's dolphins for yourself

http://www.jblincow.freeserve.co.uk/dolphin/dolphin.htm
Earthtrust's involvement in highlighting the plight of the Hector's dolphins

http://www.earthtrust.com/hector.html
A review of the very informative book "Down Under Dolphins" by Dr Liz Slooten and Steve Dawson

http://elfi.com/csi96407.html
Research and role of The New Zealand Whale and Dolphin Trust

http://www.ralenti.co.nz/topics/nzwhale.html
Set Net Pingers

http://whale.wheelock.edu/archives/info97/0268.html
More about the plight of the Hector's Dolphin in this very interesting article by Steve Dawson and Ellie Dickson

http://physeter.ml.duke.edu/hectors141299.html
Richmond School's very clear and informative presentation of the Hector's dolphins. Look out for the sad picture of the dolphins caught in the nets

http://www.nelson.planet.org.nz/~richmond/bartique.htm
Another excellent article by Ellie Dickson entitled New Zealand Hector's Dolphins in Peril

http://whales.magna.com.au/NEWS/nzhector.html
Warning of losing the North Island Hector's dolphins

http://www.whalewatch.co.nz/_disc3/00000188.htm
Biological features of the Hector's Dolphin, by the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society

http://www.wdcs.org/dan/publishing.nsf/(allweb)/6D06428AB14C50B3802568F8004F3825?opendocument
And finally a simple, but strong, statement by a school-aged child about the Hector's dolphin

http://m237.arc.leon.k12.fl.us/~lauras/whales_html/hectorsdolf.html
| Video from Te Heteri | Plight of the Maui | Email from Jeanette Fitzsimons | Mutilated Hector's Dolphin | Dolphins Endangered | Letter to the Department of Conservation| Letter from Jeanette Fitzsimons | Ban Sought Over Dolphins | Dolphins Remain in Danger | Dolphin Saviours | Hector's Dolphin Internet Links