Public in favour for govt to pay to save Maui's dolphin, according to poll

A new public opinion poll has placed more pressure on the government to help the fishing industry better protect critically endangered Maui's dolphins.

There is an estimated 63 Maui dolphins left in the world. Source: 1 NEWS

A Colmar Brunton poll commissioned by the WWF conservation group asked whether the government should financially assist fishers to transition to dolphin-safe fishing methods in Maui's dolphins' habitat.

Seventy-five per cent said yes, 13 per cent said no, 12 per cent were unsure.

There's estimated to be just 63 adult Maui's dolphins left in the world and WWF campaigner Peter Hardstaff says the Government should step in to help fishermen transition away from set-netting and trawling.

"Fishing restrictions cover only about 40% of Māui habitat. The Minister for Primary Industries is out of step with public opinion and out of step with the science," Hardstaff says.

A recent report by BERL economic researchers estimated the Government could help the fishing industry protect dolphins for $26 million.

Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy, said he's comfortable the Government already has effective restrictions in place, with more than 1,700 square kilometres off the west coast of the North Island closed to trawl net fishing.