Earthrise Files Suit to Protect Imperiled Maui Dolphin!
Last week, Earthrise, along with its co-counsel at Sea Shepherd Legal, filed a lawsuit on behalf of Sea Shepherd New Zealand and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society challenging the U.S. government’s failure to protect New Zealand’s critically endangered Maui dolphin. The lawsuit alleges that the National Marine Fisheries Service and other agencies have violated the Marine Mammal Protection Act by failing to ban the import of commercial fish and products derived from fish from New Zealand that are caught using fishing methods that are driving the dolphins to extinction. Scientists estimate that fewer than 60 dolphins remain, and that fewer than 20 of these are breeding-age female dolphins. Fisheries’ bycatch, and in particular, bycatch from gillnets and trawls in the dolphins’ range, is the leading threat to the survival of the Maui dolphin.