Conservation protesters have created a dolphin graveyard outside John Key’s electorate office today to bring light to the plight of endangered dolphins.
The ‘Funeral March for Maui’s’ saw around 100 protesters march through the Prime Minister’s Helensville electorate, calling for the Government to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins.
They want the Government to impose protective measures out to 100m within harbours and a corridor that running along the West Coast of the South Island to connect the Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins, which are the same species.
Since the 1970s, Hector’s dolphin population has fallen by more than 75% from 30,000 to just over 7000, while new reports put the entire Maui’s population at 55.
Conservations have attributed the rapid decline of the two slow-breeding species to commercial fishing.
Event organiser Christine Rose said current government plans to ban trawling and set-nets along the North Island’s West Coast did not go far enough.
“They don’t protect the whole dolphin’s habitat which is essential to reduce the human-induced deaths to zero,” said Rose.
“We are calling on the government to recognise the severity of this issue.”
The march started at the Kumeu Arts Centre and reached Key’s office where protestors constructed a mock dolphin graveyard.