So, what is being done to save the Maui dolphin from extinction?
"Nothing," Maas says.
Conservationists, Maas told The Dodo, have been notifying the New Zealand government for years that the dolphin was struggling for its survival. But like many storylines around endangered species, there's a loop that inevitably takes place. "You go through these cycles where there's denial of your findings by the detractors," says Maas. "Then you produce evidence and scientific facts. And if you are lucky, you make incremental progress. And then the cycle starts again: denial, refusal, new evidence and incremental progress."
But, now, she says, "We are really up against it."
Maas explains that in 2012, after prolonged campaigning by conservationists - and the widely reported death of a dolphin caught in a fishing net - New Zealand, in fact, did add gillnetting limits in the Maui dolphin habitat. (The New Zealand government has a list of the measures it has taken to protect the Maui dolphin here.)
But gillnetting limits increased the area of protection by a mere 3 percent, she says. Which means more than 80 percent of Maui dolphin habitat is open to gillnets and more than "95 percent of Maui dolphin habitat is still open to trawling," Maas says.