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New Zealand fishermen foul over net ban call March 13,2012   |  Source: Taranki Daily News Online

Commercial fishermen are fighting a push by conservationists to extend the set net ban into Taranaki waters to protect the endangered Maui's dolphins.

Fish and Bird are calling for the Government to extend the ban into Taranaki waters. The ban now runs along the coast from the North Taranaki bight to north of the Kaipara Harbour.

But Egmont Seafood managing director Keith Mawson said the Taranaki fishing community was strongly against the ban which he says unfairly singles out their industry and would put their livelihood at risk.

On Saturday hundreds of Raglan residents rallied to protest against seabed mining on the west coast of the North Island noting that the area was home to the small dolphin which is one of the world's most endangered species.

The area Trans-Tasman Resources (TTR) plans to mine runs from Whanganui to Port Waikato, almost the entire Maui's habitat, the protesters say.

The march coincided with a meeting between the Australian mining company and the Raglan iwi to discuss plans to extract one billion tonnes of iron ore along the west coast.

A recent study by the University of Auckland found there were just 79 Maui's dolphin left and of those only 20 were breeding females.

The local fishing community was an easy target for extremists, who

 

© 2012 Fairfax New Zealand Limited

Theme(s): Fishing Craft, Gear and Fishing Methods.

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