The ocean update

Maui-dolphinDecember 15th, 2013. Marine experts say it is too late to stop the Maui’s dolphin becoming extinct and New Zealand sea lions will be next unless changes are made.

Despite mandatory monitoring and recent restrictions on fishing zones, the Maui’s dolphins’ days are numbered.

“There is the clearest, most uncomplicated evidence showing that the species will go extinct,” American whale expert Roger Payne said.

Mr Payne, who is in Dunedin along with more than 1000 other delegates for the 20th Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, says it is simply too late.

“It’s not the fishermen, it’s the Government. The Government is paid to keep the species such as the Maui dolphin safe, and they’re not doing it,” he said.

New Zealand sea lions are also faced with rapidly declining numbers – decreasing in population by 40% since 1998.

“We’ve looked at the possible causes of that decline,”…

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