11 Mar 2012

Net ban extension sought to protect Maui's dolphins

8:09 pm on 11 March 2012

A Taranaki-based fishing company has come out against a campaign to extend a ban on set net fishing to protect endangered Maui's dolphins.

The conservation group, Forest and Bird, wants the Government to use emergency powers to impose the extension after a dolphin was found dead in a set net in January.

But Egmont Seafoods managing director Keith Mawson says the capture was an isolated incident.

He says a ban on set nets would threaten the livelihood of commercial fishermen and more research is needed to prove Maui's dolphins are threatened by such nets.

Forest and Bird also wants more study but says, given there are only about 80 Maui's dolphins left, it is best to impose the ban until it can be proven the animals are not at risk.