Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Badly injured dolphin prompts DOC warning to boaties

Media release

25 September 2012

Badly injured dolphin prompts DOC warning to boaties

A bottlenose dolphin has been badly injured after being struck by a boat near Great Barrier Island in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.

Dwyer wound close up

The injured dolphin has a large wound behind its dorsal fin and was observed swimming alongside another bottlenose dolphin believed to be one of its parents. The large wound and two smaller lacerations on the tail are consistent with propeller strike injuries.

Dwyer head visible

It was sighted at Blind Bay on Great Barrier Island by Sarah Dwyer, a PhD student at Massey University’s Coastal-Marine Research Group. She photographed the injured dolphin last week while undertaking systematic surveys for marine mammals in the Hauraki Gulf as part of a four year study.

Sarah Dwyer says the injured dolphin and its companion moved more slowly than the other dolphins in the group of more than 50 individuals and she was surprised by the distances it could swim given the severity of its injuries.

The pair are regular visitors to Great Barrier Island and the inner Hauraki Gulf. They’ve been seen on several occasions since May 2010, always together. The injured dolphin was previously sighted four weeks ago, fit and well off Whangaparapara on Great Barrier Island.

Department of Conservation’s Warkworth and Great Barrier Area Manager Tim Brandenburg, says boat operators need to be aware that there are dolphins in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park throughout the year and they need to take care to avoid hitting them.

“These strikes are avoidable if everyone takes more care on the water. Small and large vessels can cause significant harm to marine mammals. Last summer a common dolphin died as a result of receiving lethal spinal injuries after being struck by a jet ski.”

Tim Brandenburg says research by Massey University and the University of Auckland is providing valuable information about dolphin and whale activity in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.

“Through their work, we now know that dolphins and Bryde’s whales that live in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park are vulnerable to being hit by boats and ships.”

DOC is working with shipping interests, government agencies, scientists, environmentalists and iwi to reduce ship strikes on Bryde’s whales in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.

DOC administers the Marine Mammals Protection Act 1978, which provides for the conservation, protection and management of marine mammals. It’s an offence to harass or disturb marine mammals. Breaches of the legislation carry penalties of up to six months imprisonment or fines up to $250,000.

Rules for boaties in the vicinity of dolphins, whales and other marine mammals, can be found at http://www.doc.govt.nz/publications/conservation/native-animals/marine-mammals/sharing-our-coasts-with-marine-mammals/rules/

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Environment And Conservation: Changes To Our Oceans Pose Serious Concerns

New Zealand’s oceans, coasts, and marine wildlife are under growing pressure, according to the first national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand about the marine environment. More>>


Police Authority: Use Of Taser Was Disproportionate And Unjustified

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that an officer’s second use of a Taser on a mentally unwell Hokitika man was disproportionate and unjustified. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Holidays, Hekia Parata And Badlands

Hekia Parata, adieu. Reportedly, she’s been ‘passionate’ about education. She has “bravely’ led the charge on the government’s education reforms. In the past week , many of the postscripts to Hekia Parata’s career as Education Minister have sounded like a schoolteacher desperately trying to find some reason why a D student can be marked up to C minus. More>>


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news