Help the Dolphins

We already talked about the myth of ‘100% pure New Zealand’ and wether or not this statement justifiable considering the current problems of pollution and agriculture.
However, it has recently come to my attention that there are obviously some very concrete problems going on. One of which is the danger for animals. As an example I would like to introduce you to this little cutie:

© WWF / Stephen DAWSON

This is one of about 7,400 Hector’s dolphins living by the coastline of New Zealand.
Now, 7,400 might sound like quite a large number, but not in comparison to the 30,000 that were counted in 1970.
This dramatic decrease is mostly due to previous huntings that have been stopped now but also because of fishers that are still barely controlled by the government and are therefore able to work in areas where the dolphins swim. Needless to say, the accidental capture of said dolphins in one of the nets is not really rare. This bycatching is dangerous in various aspects : Firstly, the dolphins get separated from the others, which is especially important seeing as these animals hunt their food in groups of about five and are probably not able to survive alone. Secondly, the nets are often made of nylon or other sharp materials that injure the skin of the dolphins. And thirdly, of course, not all fishermen let their catch back into the water but keep them as baits or food.
Funnily enough, instead of doing something about those circumstances, the government uses the decrease in number as a tourist attraction: On the official New Zealand webpage it says that swimming with the ‘smallest and rarest dolphins’ is always a great experience. And, in order to make it all seem family friendly, they also state that ‘the cruise operators take extraordinary care to make sure that the dolphins are not harmed’. Interesting, when the WWF names boat disturbance and chemical pollution as the other major dangers for the dolphins….

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