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Auckland Conservation is disappointed in dumping grant

The Auckland Conservation Board (The Board) is disappointed that a consent to dump up to 250,000 cubic metres of dredged materials per year at sea has been granted.

Lyn Mayes, Chair of the Auckland Conservation Board said:

“The Hauraki Gulf Marine Park is home to 25 species of marine mammals (nearly one third of the world’s marine mammal species) and at least six species of cetaceans. We submitted against the CRL application because the vastly increased barge movements across the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park to the dumping ground on the continental shelf beyond Aotea/ Great Barrier Island presents in our Board’s view a significant and clear threat to the marine ecosystem in the park, especially the marine mammals. The Bryde’s whale for example is a national critical species which spends a lot of time on the surface, even “sleeping” on the surface at night, when these dredging vessels will be passing through.”

Professor Andrew Jeffs, Board member and marine biologist added that the Board’s request for speed controls and sound output limits on the vessels was ignored:

“We’re extremely disappointed in the decision as our concerns for the potential impacts on the remarkable range of whales and dolphins in the Hauraki Gulf have not been taken into account. The Hauraki Gulf is an internationally outstanding habitat for whales and dolphins that deserves a higher standard of care.”

“Our requests for safeguards on dumping vessel speeds and underwater noise outputs that have the potential to impact the whales and dolphins in the Hauraki Gulf have been ignored. Sound travels long distances underwater and whales and dolphins live in an acoustic world which is under threat.”

© Scoop Media

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