Stop Oil Exploration to Save Critically Endangered Dolphins

Target: Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key

Goal: Stop oil exploration in New Zealand waters to save Maui dolphins

The Maui dolphins are considered one of the most endangered dolphins in the world, with only fifty-five of them remaining in the world. They are only found in New Zealand waters, and their numbers have been decimated by fishing. In 2008, a sanctuary was created for these beautiful animals, but this haven is under attack by oil exploration. The sounds of drilling, pollution and other threats can drive away the dolphins, and place them in peril. Tell Prime Minister John Key to stop oil exploration, as this is a sanctuary for the Maui dolphin.

The International Whaling Commission is extremely concerned for this species, and have urged New Zealand in the past to place a ban on trawling fishing, as this was what was responsible for the decimation of the Maui population. The commission has stated that the country’s current protection “falls short of that required to reverse the Maui’s population decline.” And now the country is looking to allow oil and gas exploration in the 3,000 kilometer area, a part of which overlaps with the dolphin sanctuary.

The New Zealand government has been accused of not listening to scientists and ignoring studies regarding the ill effects of drilling on marine wildlife. Studies have proven that drilling and sonar can deafen dolphins and whales, but the country is refusing to listen to these studies. The government seems confident in the fact that dolphins will not be harmed during this drilling operation, but studies have shown otherwise. Urge the prime minister to shut down oil and gas exploration for the sake of these dolphins.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Prime Minister Key,

It has come to my attention that your country is allowing oil and gas exploration in a sanctuary designated for the Maui dolphins. This move has caused outrage among scientists and animal lovers, who are concerned for the animal’s well being. Studies have shown that drilling and sonar can deafen these animals who rely on echolocation to travel the oceans. It concerns me that you are dismissing the worries being brought up scientists, and instead care about the economy.

I am writing this letter urging you to stop all oil and gas exploration in and near the dolphins’ sanctuary. This is a sanctuary, a haven for the dolphins to live and reproduce. It is extremely hypocritical of your country to establish a sanctuary and then conduct activities that threaten the lives of the dolphins. It tells your citizens that you do not care for the well being of any creature, and sets a bad precedence on animal conservation.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Earthrace Conservation via Flickr

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  • Angela Kohn
  • MARINA MURPHY
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