12 Apr 2012

Dolphin investigation wanted

12:06 pm on 12 April 2012

The fishing industry in Taranaki wants to form a steering group with industry and environmental advocates to stave off plans to widen set net bans for the protection of Maui's dolphins.

The death in January of a dolphin, believed to be a Maui's, was blamed on a fishing set net.

The Department of Conservation says the population of the species has halved since 2005 to 55 adults.

The Government proposes to explore a widening of the set-net ban area near the dolphins' breeding and feeding grounds.

But Egmont Seafoods in New Plymouth says a thorough investigation by a steering group is needed to ensure that Maui's are being killed and not Hector's.

Managing director Keith Mawson says satellite tagging of Maui's dolphins would help determine exactly where they are migrating to.