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

 


Government not doing enough to save Maui’s dolphins


Seafood New Zealand says government not doing enough to save Maui’s dolphins


Seafood New Zealand says the just announced Maui’s Dolphin Research Advisory Group will not be able to help the endangered Maui’s population recover, because its terms of reference are too narrow.

Seafood New Zealand CEO, Tim Pankhurst, says the most proven threat to Maui’s dolphins - the disease toxoplasmosis - could not be considered by the Advisory Group.

“This is because the disease is not judged to be the result of ‘human activity’. Human activity is all the Group is allowed to look at,” he says.

A joint DOC/MPI discussion paper last year on Maui’s dolphins revealed that two of three post mortems on Maui’s diagnosed toxoplasmosis as the reason for their deaths.

“Despite this clear threat, there is no funding to find out how it is transmitted from land animals to the Maui’s and how this transmission might be prevented. This one disease has the potential to wipe them out entirely,” Tim Pankhurst says.

He says the alternative government strategy, aimed at fishing off Taranaki, will only harm the local fishing economy, and will not save any Maui’s dolphins.

“Taranaki fishermen, who have never seen a Maui’s dolphin in all their working lives, are now forced out of business to save a dolphin which the government is giving people an incentive to spot,” he says.

He says in contrast to the disease risk, the claimed danger posed by fishing is not backed up by the data.

“Despite claims of five such captures in the past 12 years, the DOC Incident Database shows the last time there was any evidence for a net killing, of what was known to be a Maui’s, was in early 2002. That was just before the first in a sequence of fishing restrictions were brought into their habitat in 2003. As well, there has never been a report of any trawl capture of a Maui’s since records began in 1921.”

“The evidence shows the threats are found elsewhere. The solutions should be science based – not regulation based. There should be a Population Recovery Plan,” Tim Pankhurst says.

He says there is overseas research into assisted reproduction for dolphin species, and in New Zealand, rare birds, such as kakapo, are helped with their reproduction.

“For some reason, there have been no funded research projects in the past ten years on Maui’s reproduction metabolism, disease transmission, or predation threat, and only one on pollution build-up.”

“In contrast, there have been no fewer than 66 theoretical or observer papers published on Hector’s and Maui’s distribution and behaviour, which might be satisfying academically, but doesn’t benefit the Maui’s sub-species in the slightest,” he says.

Tim Pankhurst also highlights the results of government observer efforts to find Maui’s in Taranaki waters as far south as Hawera over the past year. None were observed.

“There are no Maui’s dolphins there that any professional witness has seen. There have been government observers on fishing vessels, DOC aerial and boat surveys and seismic observers. None have seen a single Maui’s or a South Island Hector’s dolphin throughout thousands of hours in a whole year of looking. And it is costing our industry dearly to be indefinitely shut out of productive fishing grounds.”

DOC reports no Maui’s have been confirmed further south than Raglan – directly across from Hamilton – since 1989.

“The seafood industry backs genuine conservation measures. Maui’s need help where they do live, not ill-advised fishing restrictions where they don’t live,” Tim Pankhurst concluded.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Parliament Today:

Werewolf: The Defence Pretence

Last year, the world began spending more money on weapons again, for the first time since 2011... New Zealand belongs to a region – Asia and Oceania – where military spending rose sharply in 2015, by 5.4 per cent. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Not Crying Foul, Argentina

So a couple of guys found to be criminally liable of environmental pollution in Argentina lodge an application with the Overseas Investment Office… in order to buy some prime New Zealand rural land. Seems that their factory back home had carelessly and/or intentionally discharged toxic waste into the Lujan river. Bummer... More>>

ALSO:

Urban & Rural: $303m To Merge And Modernise New Zealand’s Fire Services

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne today announced funding of $303 million over five years to combine urban and rural fire services into one organisation from mid-2017. More>>

ALSO:

High Trust Regime: What Did The PM Tell His Lawyer About Foreign Trusts?

The Government stopped the IRD from reviewing New Zealand foreign trusts shortly after the Prime Minister’s lawyer wrote to the Revenue Minister claiming John Key had promised him the regime would not be changed. More>>

ALSO:

Road Crime: Wicked Campers Vans Classified As Objectionable

The definition of publication includes any "thing that has printed or impressed upon it, or otherwise shown upon it, 1 or more (or a combination of 1 or more) images, representations, signs, statements, or words", The Classification Office has previously classified such 'things' as billboards, t-shirts, and even a drink can. This is the first time the Classification Office has classified a vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

'When New' Repairs: Landmark EQC Settlement

The Earthquake Commission has cut a deal with 98 Canterbury homeowners that affirms the government entity's responsibility to repair earthquake-damaged property to a 'when new' state, as well as covering repairs for undamaged parts of a property and clarifying its position on cash settlement calculations. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Kiwirail’s Latest Stint In The Dogbox

The denigration of Kiwirail continues. The latest review (based on a 2014 assessment) of the options facing the company have enabled Kiwirail to be hung out to dry once again as a liability and burden on the taxpayer. More>>

ALSO:

Royal Society Report: Good Opportunities To Act Now On Climate Change

There are many actions New Zealand can and should take now to reduce the threat of climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy, a report released today by the Royal Society of New Zealand finds... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news