Save the World’s Most Endangered Penguin

Target: Damien O’Connor, Minister for Primary Industries, New Zealand

Goal: Ban the use of fishing trawlers that drown and kill endangered penguins.

New Zealand’s yellow-eyed penguins are drowning in mass numbers due to dangerous commercial trawling nets, according to new research that shows that their population is even more perilously close to extinction than previously thought. Even birds living in protected areas without introduced predators, such as Codfish Island off the southern tip of the island nation, are experiencing serious declines. With fewer than 1700 breeding pairs remaining, they are believed to be the world’s most endangered species of penguin and they could be gone completely within decades if more is not done to save them.

Trawling nets are notorious for indiscriminately killing thousands of species of fish and other forms of marine wildlife, including dolphins and sea turtles. Penguins are no exception, and when they become entangled in these nets they are unable to reach the water’s surface to breathe, causing them to drown and die. If New Zealand were to ban trawling nets, they would not only be potentially saving the remaining yellow-eyed penguins from extinction, but also many other endangered species as well.

Commercial fisheries must be held to a higher standard and must not be allowed to harm these penguins or other species of marine wildlife. Sign this petition to demand that this dangerous form of fishing be banned.


Dear Minister O’Connor,

Yellow-eyed penguins are dying out at a faster rate than previously assumed. Researchers believe that the primary cause for their population decline is the indiscriminate use of trawling nets used by commercial fisheries. With only 1700 breeding pairs remaining, we must act now to ensure that these birds have a chance to survive.

Losing an entire species not just sad, it is also a warning sign about our unsustainable practices, particularly in the fishing industry. Trawling nets kill countless numbers of sea turtles, dolphins, sharks and other unintended ‘bycatch’ each year, and penguins are just one small example. For the sake of all of New Zealand’s precious wildlife, I urge you to call for a complete ban on all trawling nets in your nation.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Bernard Spragg

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