Conservation organization goes pro-extinction to save endangered species
WWF-New Zealand calls on Aotearoa to become Pro-Extinction.
Together we must eliminate some harmful human behavior to help protect our beaches, our ocean, and help save our taonga species, like Bryde’s whale.
WWF New Zealand CEO Livia Esterhazy said: “We are heading into another Kiwi summer and we will enjoy swimming and sailing in our beautiful waters. As we do this, we ask people to think about the marine environment, the fragile ecosystem beneath the waves, and our impact on it.
“Bryde’s whale is an iconic species and an essential element in maintaining a healthy ecosystem. The Bryde is also a species of taonga to us, and he’s in trouble. We have to help protect it, and absolutely we can do it by doing away with our own harmful behaviors. “
Bryde’s Whale (pronounced Broo-dus) is a giant, playful mammal, an ocean panda. He spends his life in the Gulf of Hauraki / Tīkapa Moana / Te
Moana-nui-à-Toi, one of only three places in the world with a population of resident whales, preferring to stay here rather than migrate with the seasons.
But Bryde’s habitat has been negatively affected by the cumulative effects of climate change, overfishing and pollution. Today, it is a “nationally critical” species and may be threatened with local extinction with only 135 species remaining.
The decline of Bryde and its habitat is due to the impact we all have on our environment.
We currently take more fish for commercial purposes than before the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park was established in 2000. The area is also Aotearoa’s most intensive recreational fishing area. The main fish stocks have declined by more than 50%.
Plastic pollution is a huge problem. Whales in the Hauraki Gulf ingest about 25,000 microplastics per bite, or about 3 million per day. Most of this plastic is found in their food, such as zooplankton. In addition to being ingested, plastic can entangle, suffocate, and drown marine life.
Currently, only 0.3% of the waters of the Hauraki Gulf are sufficiently protected. It is planned to increase that number to 6%, but we need to reach the 30% needed before the Gulf can fully regenerate.
This is why WWF is calling on New Zealand to become Pro-Extinction. We ask everyone to put an end to three harmful human behaviors.
We ask everyone to:
Turn off plastic pollution.
Make indifference disappear.
Doing this means: Sustainable fishing to help the Hauraki Gulf to regenerate. Discard single-use plastics and collect plastic waste. Become a conscious consumer.
And above all, reject indifference. It means actively thinking about your decisions and the impact they will have on the environment. It also means urging leaders and businesses to protect our oceans and support those who do.
It means making positive choices for our planet, our ocean, and Bryde’s whale.
Adopting these changes is easy. WWF has created an online information center showing the impact of these three behaviors and how they can be turned off. Find out what you can do here.
Join us, become Pro-Extinction!
To learn more, visit wwf.org.nz.
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