15 Oct 2018

Doubt cast on report on Maui dolphin's death

From Morning Report, 6:44 am on 15 October 2018

A specialist in marine mammels is casting doubt on a report that says a rare Maui dolphin most likely died from blood poisoning. The Department of Conservation's pathology report into the death of the critically endangered dolphin finds a still born foetus found inside the mammal most likely led to its mother developing blood poisoning. Although it says a definitive cause my never been known because the carcass was too decomposed. But Professor Liz Slooten has told fisheries reporter Conan Young that the report does look at whether the animal could have drowned in a fishing net, something she thinks is a distinct possibility. Liz Slooten says Maui dolphins are teetering on the brink of extinction and wants the government to implement the recommendations the International Whaling Commission made three years ago. This asks for fishing nets to be banned less than 20 nautical miles from shore from Northland to Whanagnui. The Department of Conservation says there are no signs the Gibson Beach dolphin was entangled in a net.