Animal Justice Party Aotearoa NZ (AJPANZ) responds to the US court injunction banning import of New Zealand fish caught in Māui dolphin habitat.

“The New Zealand Government should be ashamed and embarrassed that the United States has to give them lessons in conservation,” says AJPANZ Secretary Dr Michael Morris. “So much for our ‘clean green image’”.

According the Department of Conservation Threat Management Plan review of 2019, Māui dolphins (popoto), which are on the verge of extinction, are often caught in fishing nets. Māui dolphins are one of the rarest dolphin subspecies globally.
 

A New Zealand Government State of the Environment report from the same year reports that 22% of marine mammal species, 90% of seabirds and 80% of shore birds are endangered due to fishing by-catch.

“The Government needs to get tough on the commercial industry/" 1951 target="_blank">fishing industry, and not rely on the Americans to teach us our business,” says Dr Morris. “New Zealand could have the dubious distinction of being the first country in the world to lose an indigenous marine mammal.”

The Animal Justice Party plans to contest the party vote during the 2023 election on the basis of compassion for all animals.
 

If elected, protection of Māui dolphin habitat and other sea life would be one of its first priorities.
 

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