New Zealand aims to save two rare dolphin species


WELLINGTON, New Zealand — The New Zealand government banned coastal net fishing and announced new marine mammal sanctuaries Thursday in a bid to prevent the extinction of two indigenous dolphin species. The tough new measures ban net fishing and trawling in areas ranging out to 2 to 12.3 kilometers from the coast in the dolphins’ living areas around both main islands.

They are expected to cost the country’s coastal fishing industry NZ$79 million (US$62 million) and as many as 295 jobs over the next five years. The number of indigenous Hector’s dolphins has declined from an estimated 29,000 in the 1970s to just 7,000, while there are only 111 remaining Maui’s dolphins.