New Zealand turns to drones to halt Māui dolphin extinction

New Zealand turns to drones to halt Māui dolphin extinction
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There are just 63 Maui dolphins left in New Zealand [Courtesy Silvia Scali] Wellington, New Zealand – In 2018, a jack mackerel skipper mistakenly caught a pod of Māui dolphins in a purse seine net off the Taranaki coast of New Zealand’s North Island. The fisherman faced a conundrum: While the dolphins are among the most endangered in New Zealand, if he released the net he would also be in breach of the country’s Fisheries Act and liable to a substantial fine for releasing his catch. He decided to save the dolphins. And, in the end, avoided a fine. The skipper worked for Sanford, New Zealand’s largest seafood company which has nearly 20 percent of New Zealand’s fishing quota. As far as the company is concerned catching a Māui dolphin is one of the worst things that can happen – second only to causing serious harm (including death) of an employee at sea. “Māui dolphins are a national treasure – our people live out on the sea and have a real affinity to the creatures that live there. They have a huge respect for the environment, and while they mightn’t be in breach in a criminal sense, it would […]

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