In a video that has surfaced from 2012, it shows two fisherman pulling dead Hector’s dolphins aboard a set net vessel, disentangling it from the net, dragging it across the deck and discarding it back into the sea to return to fishing as though nothing happened. The video shows the dangerous and disturbing reality that marine animals face when they are a product of bycatch.
Often regarded as intrusive their fishing practices, endangered species such as the Hector dolphins shown in the clip are at great risk and their well-being is often not considered and these actions are causing the Hector’s and Māui dolphins to the verge of extinction.
“What we are seeing here is all the more disturbing because of the casual manner in which the situation is handled by the fishermen,” says NABU International’s Chief Executive Thomas Tennhardt. “Earlier this year, over 150,000 people from around the globe signed our petition calling on the New Zealand government to protect Māui dolphins now. Tit wouldn’t take much, but if the government continues to turn its back on science and public opinion, the dolphins’ extinction is simply a matter of time.”