Ten percent of Maui

Last week our SSNZ crew spotted 5-6 Maui off Manukau heads on the west coast of Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland). This is about ten percent of the population of the world’s rarest dolphin. Maui were hammered by recreational set nets and commercial fishing for decades before conservationists realised what was going on. Some changes to protect them were made in 2008 but there have been no substantial measures to safeguard them since. This year we have new hope that the Threat Management Plan for Hector's and Maui will finally give them the protection and respect they deserve before it’s too late. Conveniently these changes would also make us compliant with US marine mammal bycatch regulations so that would be a win win for New Zealand and the world’s rarest dolphin.