This week we have seen a jihad opened up on the New Zealand fishing industry by a group of Kraut eco-terrorists.
They claim they are trying to save Maui dolphins and have fingered McDonalds as contributing to their deaths because they buy NZ Hoki. Nevermind that NZ Hoki is caught in regions far from the littoral environs that Maui dolphins inhabit, they are just attacking an industry and a multi-national company based on lies and mis-truths.
In their bid to save Maui dolphins they have attacked industries and companies that actually have nothing to do with the maui dolphins and attacking them and destroying their businesses won’t save a single Maui dolphin.
A better approach would have been for them to attack cat owners. Because one of the major killers of Hectors and Maui dolphins is cats…or rather a disease that is caused by cats.
A recent 2013 study found that toxoplasmosis is a rather large factor in the deaths of Maui and Hectors dolphins.
Hector’s dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori) are a small endangered coastal species that are endemic to New Zealand. Anthropogenic factors, particularly accidental capture in fishing nets, are believed to be the biggest threat to survival of this species. The role of infectious disease as a cause of mortality has not previously been well investigated. This study investigates Toxoplasma gondii infection in Hector’s dolphins, finding that 7 of 28 (25%) dolphins examined died due to disseminated toxoplasmosis, including 2 of 3 Maui’s dolphins, a critically endangered sub-species. A further 10 dolphins had one or more tissues that were positive for the presence of T. gondii DNA using PCR. Genotyping revealed that 7 of 8 successfully amplified isolates were an atypical Type II genotype. Fatal cases had necrotising and haemorrhagic lesions in the lung (n=7), lymph nodes (n=6), liver (n=4) and adrenals (n=3). Tachyzoites and tissue cysts were present in other organs including the brain (n=5), heart (n=1), stomach (n=1) and uterus (n=1) with minimal associated inflammatory response. One dolphin had a marked suppurative metritis in the presence of numerous intra-epithelial tachyzoites. No dolphins had underlying morbillivirus infection. This study provides the first evidence that infectious agents could be important in the population decline of this species, and highlights the need for further research into the route of entry of T. gondii organisms into the marine environment worldwide.
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