Call for increased protection of endangered dolphins

Erin Jamieson

Erin Jamieson

In 2019, Black Cat Cruises commissioned the first ever research done on the economic value of dolphin tourism to both New Zealand and Canterbury. The eco-tourism operator is concerned that hundreds of jobs, and the dolphins themselves, are at risk unless stronger action is taken to protect Hector’s dolphins.

The research revealed that Hector’s dolphin eco-tourism is worth almost $25 million to the New Zealand economy each year, with another $3-$6 million in associated tourist activity. This sustains the equivalent of 476 jobs in the national economy.

Black Cat supports the Government’s Hector’s and Maui dolphins Threat Management Plan which is currently under review, and is asking the Government to:

  • Ensure the Banks Peninsula Marine Mammal Sanctuary is a safe place for dolphins.
  • Secure a ban on set netting in the harbours, plus an extension of the commercial ban out to 100m depth (around 20 miles).
  • Secure an extension of the Marine Mammal Sanctuary up and down the South Island.

Chairman of Black Cat Cruises Paul Bingham appeared on Newshub to raise awareness of this issue, while further media coverage followed in several print publications.

The eco-tourism operator was also encouraging wider awareness of the opportunity to give the dolphin’s better protection by informing the public that they could visit Black Cat’s website and send a postcard to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern showing their support on this issue.

Convergence is pleased to work with a business that has strong ethics in the environmental sector and is willing to voice their concerns at a national and government level.

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