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

Child Poverty Monitor: Food Poverty Due To Inadequate Income, Housing Cost

The latest Child Poverty Monitor released today by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner reveals alarming facts about children suffering the impacts of family income inadequacy, says Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG).

The report found that one in five children under the age of 15 - amounting to between 161,000 and 188,000 children - experience moderate-to-severe food insecurity, meaning they can’t count on having regular nutritious meals. More>>

 

Open Government: Proactively Release Of Ministerial Diaries

All Government Ministers will for the first time release details of their internal and external meetings, Minister for State Services (Open Government) Chris Hipkins announced today. More>>

ALSO:

Billion Trees: Questions Over Shanes Jones Carbon Claims

“Officials estimate the actual value of the One Billion Trees (OBT) scheme will be just a third of the amount Mr Jones claimed, at about $900 million, and that he padded the number by including $800 million of ETS benefits and $1 billion of business-as-usual activity..." More>>

'Sovereignty Concerns': Plans To Sign UN Migration Pact

New Zealand is likely going to sign up to a United Nations migration pact this week as long as it can iron out a concern around sovereignty. More>>

ALSO:

Most Vulnerable Face Most Risk: Sea Level Rise Threatens Major Infrastructure

The burden of sea-level rise will weigh on the most vulnerable unless a new approach is developed and legislated, a new report says. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Pope Of Parliament

’Tis the season of goodwill towards all humankind… except it would seem, towards the Speaker of Parliament... More>>

ALSO:

Abortion: Hundreds March To Call For Decriminalisation

About 300 protesters marched to Parliament this afternoon calling on MPs to vote in favour of decriminalising abortion. A recent report by the Law Commission to the government recommended removing it from the Crimes Act. More>>

ALSO:

Secondary Negotiations: PPTA Rejects 'Another Inadequate Offer'

Hard on the heels of an overwhelming rejection of the government’s second offer, the union’s representatives did not believe that the latest offer was good enough to take out to members... More>>

ALSO:

eGates And Social Security: PM Meets With Korean President Moon Jae-In

Our shared values and challenges, the situation on the Korean Peninsula and the opportunity to do more together were features of the meeting between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in today in Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels