30 Apr 2012

Industry not to blame for dead dolphin - fishing company

3:15 pm on 30 April 2012

A fishing company in Taranaki says the fishing industry is being unfairly blamed for the death of a dolphin which was found last week.

It was found on Anzac Day on a beach near Pungarehu, south of New Plymouth.

The Department of Conservation has not yet determined whether the animal was a Mauis or Hectors dolphin or how it died. Results are expected by the end of the week.

The Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand says the death should be reason for the Government to take immediate action and ban set net fishing.

But Egmont Seafoods says the fishing industry is not responsible for this dolphin death.

Managing director Keith Mawson says he was notified on Friday by the Ministry of Primary Industries that the dolphin had not died in a set net, but of natural causes.

Forest and Bird says the Government should offer the fishing industry an incentive to change their practices.

The group wants set netting banned as a protection measure and is calling on the Government to offer a sweetener for fishing methods to change.

Marine advocate Katrina Subedar says this could include a financial incentive or a change to the quota management system to encourage fishermen to adopt more sustainable harvest methods.