East Bay Hector's Dolphin Sanctuary Proposal
Anyone interested in supporting our proposal for an Hector's Dolphin Sanctuary in East Bay, Queen Charlotte Sound, Marlborough Sounds, please read the following:
Studies by Dolphin Watch Marlborough show that East Bay is a significant part of the Hector's Dolphin summer range for the approximately 38 individuals which summer over in Queen Charlotte Sound. There is a small group which also spends much of the winter in East Bay.
Hector's Dolphins spend most of their time feeding on species located on or near the bottom of the sea. Any reduction in available feeding areas which will occur with the establishment of further mussel farms in East Bay must have an impact on an already endangered species. Each farm removes a potential feeding area from the dolphins. This year we counted 5 births and as the group grows, more, not less feeding areas will be required.
The World Wildlife Fund for Nature has placed the Hector's Dolphin on the Red List for endangered species and it behoves us all to consider carefully any developments wich would impact on this most rare of all oceanic dolphins.
We wish to bring this enriched area to the attention of Sandra Lee, Minister of Conservation. We initially became concerned about the future of the ecology of East Bay when in late 1999 we became aware, for the first time, that the area had been zoned as "discretionary" for marine farming.
We now understand that the Marine Farming Association had lobbied long and hard for water space in Queen Charlotte Sound to be allocated in the Marlborough Sounds Resource Management Plan and as a trade off to this long and continual pressure, Marlborough District Council zoned part of what many people regard as the most ecologically significant area in Queen Charlotte Sound for marine farming.
Over the last 18 months, we have made every attempt to get the zoning reconsidered so that the area continues to be a suitable and hospitable habitat for the marine life and wildlife that have lived here so long
We have proposed that East Bay become a protected area for the Hector's Dolphins in residence.
Please write or E-mail the following with support for the concept:
Mayor Gerald Hope
Marlborough District Council
P O Box443
Executive...same as above
Tom Harrison...Councillor.....same as above
Minister of Conservation
Roy Grose.....Picton DOC
P O Box 161
Any assistance and support you can give will be greatly appreciated.
Betty Rowe, Arapawa Island, East Bay, Queen Charlotte Sound