Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Positive news in latest whale numbers

Positive news in latest whale numbers

Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith welcomed the results from the latest Cook Strait Whale Project survey which concluded today and showed the second highest number of humpback whale sightings on record.

“Ninety-two whale sightings this year is good news. It is the second highest to the 106 sighted in 2012 and compares to an average of 66 over the past six years where we have carried out a four-week survey. These findings will be useful in informing and determining the conservation status of the humpback whale species,” Dr Smith says.

The Cook Strait Whale Project is carried out by the Department of Conservation (DOC) to assess the recovery of the humpback whale species since the end of commercial whaling in New Zealand in 1964. The four-week survey is timed for the whales’ annual migration from Antarctic waters to their breeding grounds in the South Pacific. This year’s survey is the 11th in the ongoing series. The species’ recovery will be assessed by comparing the numbers seen in the survey with whaling station humpback records from the 1950s and early 1960s.

“The findings to date indicate the New Zealand humpback population is increasing but slowly. The research project is still gathering data and further analysis is needed before firm conclusions can be drawn. A data series over a long period is needed to draw firm conclusions,” Dr Smith says.

“The research team noted some unusual behaviour amongst humpbacks this year including more sea surface activity and more milling around. It is thought this might be due to the warmer than normal sea temperatures that have been reported this winter.

“The team also collected 41 skin samples using a biopsy dart tool and took 38 photos of individual whales. The skin samples will assist in assessing the humpback population size and links with humpbacks seen elsewhere in the South Pacific as well as providing genetic information.

“The survey also collects information on other whale species seen which this year included a blue whale and a pod of orca and also several sperm whale sightings. Sightings of blue whales have become more commonplace which is an encouraging indication their population is also increasing.

“Commercial and community partnerships play a key part in the Cook Strait Whale Project. It would not be possible without OMV New Zealand Limited’s partnership with DOC. The project also has strong support from the Marlborough community, Transact Management Ltd, the Bell Tea & Coffee Company, Canon New Zealand Ltd and the University of Auckland.

“A feature of this annual survey is the lead role of six former whalers in the spotting work. Their transformation from whale cullers to whale conservationists is illustrative of the change in community values towards these iconic marine animals.

“Whales were slaughtered in appalling numbers in New Zealand waters throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. It is great news to see our conservation effort are paying off with these improved sightings but with a slow breeding cycle we would expect it to take many decades for their populations to fully recover,” Dr Smith concluded.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Populism And Labour 2017

For many people on the centre-left, populism is a dirty word, and a shorthand for the politics of bigotry. In this country, it has tended to be equated with the angry legions of New Zealand First. Who knew they were not just a reactionary spasm, but the wave of the future?

Certainly, at the end of this week, the next US President will have won office (at least in part) thanks to his proven ability at (a) scapegoating refugees and migrants (b) wooing neo-Nazis and racial supremacists (c) attacking journalists and judges (d) threatening to jail his opponents (e) urging nuclear proliferation and (e) by promising to restrict women’s rights to control their own fertility.

On the face of that campaign record, there wouldn’t seem to be much in common between Donald Trump and say, Spain’s centre-left populist party, Podemos. Yet arguably, the similarities could be instructive for the Labour/Green partnership here. More>>

 
 

Oxfam: 30% Of NZ Owns Less Wealth Than Our Two Richest Men

The research also reveals that the richest one per cent have 20 per cent of the wealth in New Zealand, while 90 per cent of the population owns less than half of the nation’s wealth. The research forms part of a global report released to coincide with this week’s annual meeting of political and business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More>>

ALSO:

Hospitals: Resident Doctors Set To Strike Again

Despite discussions between the DHBs and NZRDA over safer hours for resident doctors progressing during the last week, the strike planned for next week appears set to proceed. More>>

ALSO:

Not So Super Fund: More Burning Ethical Questions For Steven Joyce

Greens: Radio New Zealand reported this morning that the New Zealand Superfund has $77 million invested in 47 coal companies that the Norwegian Government’s Pension Fund – the largest sovereign fund in the world – has blacklisted. More>>

Activism: Greenpeace Intercepts World’s Biggest Seismic Oil Ship

Greenpeace crew have made contact with the world’s biggest seismic oil ship after travelling 50 nautical miles on two rigid-hulled inflatables off the coast of Wairarapa... Greenpeace radioed the master of the Amazon Warrior to deliver an open letter of protest signed by over 60,000 New Zealanders. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Why Tax Cuts In 2017 Would Be A (Proven) Bad Idea

Ever since the world fell prey to the mullahs of the free market in the 1980s, no amount of real world evidence has managed dispel one key tenet of their economic faith. Namely, the idea that if you cut income taxes and taxes on small business, a wave of individual enterprise and entrepreneurial energy will thus be unleashed, profits will rise and – hey bingo! – the tax cuts will soon be paying for themselves ... More>>

Liquor Sponsorship: Researchers Call For Ban On Alcohol Sponsorship Of Sport

“Due to alcohol sponsorship of sport, New Zealanders, including children, were exposed to up to 200 ads per hour they watched televised sport, and people watching football and tennis saw alcohol ads for almost half of each game,” says Associate Professor Signal. More>>

ALSO:

Mt Albert: Ardern For Labour, Genter For Greens

At the close of nominations, Jacinda Ardern was the sole nomination received for the position of Labour’s candidate for the Mt Albert by-election, says Labour General Secretary, Andrew Kirton. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news