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

 

Working with Bay of Island boat owners to protect dolphins

Media release

Thursday April 7, 2016

DOC working with Bay of Island boat owners to protect local dolphins

The Department of Conservation (DOC) has begun working with boat owners, iwi and the wider Bay of Islands community on ways to better manage boat interactions with local bottlenose dolphins.

A Massey University report, commissioned by DOC, indicates a very high level of interaction between boats and dolphins, and an ongoing fall in the local bottlenose dolphin population in the Bay of Islands.

The local bottlenose population has fallen from more than 250 individuals to fewer than 100 in the past 15 years.

Bottlenose dolphins are found around the world and the global population is not endangered. However bottlenose dolphins living in New Zealand are classified as endangered because the three main populations are small and more vulnerable.

There is a risk, if the local population continues to fall that bottlenose dolphins will be driven out of the Bay of Islands.

DOC Northern North Island Director of Operations, Sue Reed-Thomas says Bay of Islands bottlenose dolphins are facing a unique situation because of the very heavy boat traffic in the area.

“The Bay of Islands is a boating Mecca with a high density of boats on the water. As a result the study shows dolphins in the area are spending 86% of their daylight hours in the presence of at least one boat.”

“This is very disruptive for the dolphins. It means they spend far less time feeding, nursing their young and sleeping.”

“We know people love dolphins. People are simply loving them too much,” says Sue Reed-Thomas.

The majority of interactions involves private boats and commercial vessels taking tourists around the Bay of Islands. These boat owners interact with dolphins when they see them while cruising.

“It’s very difficult to manage a group of wild animals swimming freely. The dolphins often swim towards boats themselves and you simply can’t put a barrier around them or monitor every interaction they have,” says Sue Reed-Thomas.

“Everyone who puts a boat on the water in the Bay of Islands needs to be aware of the problem so they play their part in protecting the local dolphin population.”

DOC has already picked up on some of the recommendations in the Massey scientists’ report.

“We’ve begun talking to local boat operators and iwi as part of an education and engagement programme. We will also be maintaining our moratorium on new commercial dolphin watching operations in the region and looking at strengthening local marine mammal regulations,” says Sue Reed-Thomas.

“DOC will continue working with all boat owners operating in the Bay of Islands - plus iwi and the wider community - to develop a co-ordinated and effective response to this issue,” says Sue Reed-Thomas.

Background information:

• Bottlenose dolphins are widely distributed around the world and at a global level the species is not considered endangered. However New Zealand’s resident bottlenose dolphin populations are relatively small and centred around coastal areas in the Bay of Islands, Fiordland and the north western South Island regions. There are believed to be less than 1000 bottlenose dolphins across these populations and in New Zealand they are classified as nationally endangered. For more information on bottlenose dolphins see:http://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native-animals/marine-mammals/dolphins/bottlenose-dolphin/

• Commercial operators require permits to run dolphin watching tours which set out specific conditions to protect dolphins from undue stress. General information about how all boat and vessel owners should behave around dolphins is available on DOC’s website: http://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native-animals/marine-mammals/sharing-our-coasts-with-marine-mammals/

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Election Day Results


2017 General Election - Preliminary Count

National won 46% of the vote with Labour on 35.8%.

NZ First won 7.5%, with the Greens on 5.8%.

ACT held on to Epsom, but failed to get more MPs.

The Maori Party were wiped out of Parliament.

There are still special votes to be counted, but clearly National is in the box seat to form the next Government.

The Greens can not contemplate a deal with National.

So, Winston Peters will have to make a choice and could back National or a combined Labour/Green coalition.

The most likely result is National and NZ First will reach some sort of deal to form the next government.


Election Night Results

Advance Voting Statistics

General Election Information: Voters - Who, When And Where

 
 

From The Hood: The Campaign Strategist’s Lament

"This election is a chance to really work the record of what nine years of National-led government has done to improve the country for everyone. Or will do. Another three years, maybe six. Thirty-three years, tops. You don’t want to risk that, do you? More>>

PSA Report: National Gets An ‘F’ For Health Funding

"Seeing National’s record on health collected in one place is quite sobering - it’s clear that underfunding is having dire consequences on both patients and staff, who are having to do more than ever with less," says Glenn Barclay, PSA national secretary. More>>

ALSO:

Children With Disabilities: Education Crisis Unaddressed

In 2008 IHC lodged its complaint against the on-going failure of New Zealand Governments and the Ministry of Education to ensure that disabled children access a quality education on an equal basis to others in New Zealand schools. More>>

Gordon Campbell: Ten Reasons For Not Voting National

if anyone you know is thinking of voting National in Saturday’s election, there’s still time for an intervention. You owe it to your friends and relations to intercede. Because there’s plenty of evidence on National’s mediocre-to-awful track record over its nine years in power. We can’t afford another three years of drift. More>>

ALSO:

Suffrage Day: PSA National Secretaries Vote For Equal Pay

PSA national secretaries Erin Polaczuk and Glenn Barclay are advance voting for the 2017 election alongside their daughters, with equal pay and fairness in mind on the 124th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Charge Protests: Dairy Farms Use Same Amount Of Water As 60 Million People

Using Dairy NZ numbers, economist Peter Fraser and agricultural consultant Dr Alison Dewes calculate the water consumption of New Zealand dairy farms is equivalent to the residential use of 60 million people. More>>

ALSO:

Greenpeace: Labour, Greens Commit To Canterbury Democracy

Labour MP Megan Woods is promising to return Canterbury’s regional council, ECan, to a democratically elected council. It follows a mass day-long occupation of the ECan building by local water activists calling for the restoration of democracy and urgent action to save rivers. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog
More RSS News Alerts