Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Tally of mutilated Hector's dolphins grows

Tally of mutilated Hector's dolphins grows


Hector's dolphins are being killed and mutilated, according to evidence from the Department of Conservation.

Forest & Bird obtained data from DOC under the Official Information Act about the number of Hector's and Maui's dolphins found mutilated round New Zealand's coastline. The records show there have been 36 cases of dolphins found mutilated since 1980, including five cases from the 1980s, 14 cases from the 1990s and 17 cases since 2000.

Five dolphins had their bellies slit open, one in 2004 had its head cut off and had been hit with a blunt instrument, eight had their tails or tail flukes cut off, two had fins cut off, two had been filleted, one was gutted and another nine dolphin carcasses had knife marks on them.

In one case in 1990 a dolphin skull was found that definitely showed it had been shot, with clear entry and exit wounds, and in another case, in 1989, a carcass was found with a partially severed head that had probably also been shot. In another case in 2003, a dolphin showing net marks was found cut in half (the official data notes that this may have been done to evade discovery).

In 15 cases the dolphins were known to have been killed in set nets or had set net marks on their bodies.

The mutilated bodies were found on beaches around the country, and post mortems were done by Massey University pathologists.

Forest & Bird Marine Conservation Advocate Kirstie Knowles says it is feared that mutilations may be inflicted by fishers who have accidentally caught Hector's dolphins in their nets and are trying to hide the evidence by cutting up the dolphins and burying the body parts or letting them sink.

"It is more difficult for pathologists to determine the cause of death if a dolphin body is mutilated. It is not possible to definitely attribute the mutilations to any individuals or groups, but the fishing industry is keen to avoid tougher measures to protect dolphins from being tangled in fishing nets."

Forest & Bird wants a ban on set nets, which are used to catch fish in coastal waters where Hector's and Maui's dolphins live. The small dolphins get tangled in the nets and drown.

Hector's dolphins are an endangered species. A sub-species, Maui's dolphin, numbers just 111 individuals, and is critically endangered.

In May the government announced measures to protect Hector's and Maui's dolphins, including marine mammal sanctuaries and bans on set netting in the coastal waters where the dolphins are most often found.

Five commercial fishing companies have legally challenged the fishing measures, and the High Court will hear the case in April. Meanwhile, an injunction is in place so commercial set net fishing can continue in some areas where Hector's and Maui's dolphins are found.

Forest & Bird advises anyone who finds dead dolphins or other marine mammals to immediately report the death to DOC and report any illegal fishing activity to the Ministry of Fisheries.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>

ALSO:

.

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>

ALSO:

Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>

ALSO:

(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election