Groups concerned about the dramatically decreased numbers of Maui's dolphins in New Zealand waters want to see far greater protection for them.
A report by the Department of Conservation shows the population has halved since 2005 to just 55 adults.
Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson is proposing to explore a widening of the set-net ban area near the dolphins breeding and feeding grounds.
However Green MP Gareth Hughes says there is already enough evidence to show protection areas need to be extended and the consultation process is wasting valuable time. He says the Maui's dolphins cannot survive while set-net fishing continues.
WWF New Zealand executive director Chris Howe welcomes the protection proposals but is disappointed it has taken this long.
He says that Government action so far has removed only some threats in some areas, and he would like substantially more protection.
The Green party is scathing of a Government proposal to extend the protection zone of the endangered Maui's dolphin, saying it is too little, too late.But the Green MP, Gareth Hughes, says there is already enough evidence to show protection areas need to be extended and the consultation process is wasting valuable time.
He says the Maui's dolphins can't survive while set- net fishing continues.
Dr Wayne Linklater from the School of Biological Sciences at Victoria University told Checkpoint the Maui dolphin will be lost forever if action is not taken now.