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

 


Scientists and Conservationists dispute MPI’s Claims

Independent scientists and conservation groups are disputing a Ministry of Primary Industry Fisheries Manager’s claims that Maui’s dolphins’ protection measures are adequate, in the latest round of discussions on their fate.

Parliament’s Local Government and Environment Select Committee is currently considering scientific evidence and petitions signed by 67,469 people from New Zealand and around the world, calling for protection of Maui’s Dolphins, out to 100m deep, in harbours and down the coast in a dolphin corridor to the South Island.

Yesterday Ministry of Primary Industry Inshore Fisheries Manager Steve Halley denied that on the North Island's west coast Maui's dolphins go out that far.

But information released under the Official Information Act to the environmental group Maui’s & Hector’s Dolphins Education/Action reveals that there were no MPI observers on the fishing fleet in the core Maui’s dolphins range for the last three years. The group’s Chairperson, Christine Rose, says “It’s no wonder MPI aren’t seeing any dolphins, they’ve got nobody looking’. ‘This is despite a commitment in the Maui’s dolphins’ Threat Management Plan to ‘reduce the risk trawling poses to Maui dolphins and to provide robust information to inform assessment of the level of interaction between (commercial fishing) activity and the Maui’s dolphin population’. ‘Meanwhile, Department of Conservation surveys have found Maui’s Dolphins well outside the currently protected area’ according to Mrs Rose.

‘Maui’s dolphins are Critically Endangered and will become extinct within a few decades if they are not better protected. An Expert Panel of independent national and international scientists concluded that five Maui’s dolphins are killed each year in gillnets and trawl nets. The Expert Panel estimated that Maui’s dolphin can’t sustain more than one human induced death every 10 to 23 years’. ‘But you don’t need to be a scientist to figure out that with a total population of 55 Maui’s dolphins, they’ll be extinct before too long at all’, says Mrs Rose.

Associate Professor Doctor Liz Slooten, a Maui’s dolphin expert based at the University of Otago, says “It’s hardly surprising that DOC and MPI officials back the recent decisions on Maui’s dolphins made by their Ministers. The question is not whether they support the decisions made by their own Ministers but whether the decisions will actually save Maui’s dolphin. In other words, are the current protection measures effective, based on the best available science and do marine mammal scientists support them?”

“In fact, the World’s top marine mammal scientists, the IWC and the IUCN have all recommended protection at least as far south as Hawera, out to the 100 m depth contour and including harbours”. “In 2013, the IWC clarified that no further research was needed and the New Zealand government needs to act now, on the basis of the already overwhelming scientific evidence. They also explained that all fishing methods known to kill whales and dolphins need to be completely removed from the habitat of Maui’s dolphins” says Dr Slooten.

Dr Slooten adds “So far, the New Zealand government has ignored all scientific advice, from New Zealand and international experts. DOC and MPI have continued to stand by while their Ministers make decisions that are not only irrational but also directly contradict their responsibilities under the Fisheries Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. In addition, the recent decisions made by Fisheries Minister Nathan Guy and Conservation Minister Nick Smith contradict any notion of precautionary decision making. If Maui’s dolphins do go extinct, it would be appropriate to name this the “Nathan Guy and Nick Smith dolphin extinction”.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Team Behind Trump's Throne

Forget the Putin factor. Daily, the team of charlatans, bigots and stunningly ignorant crackpots that Trump is appointing to head key federal agencies is just as alarming. These are positions with vast power and budgetary discretion over policies that stand to affect tens of millions of vulnerable Americans. Sad! More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bill English, Abroad

If David Cameron was the closest thing John Key had to a political mentor, their successors also share a whole lot in common. Theresa May and Bill English were both propelled into the top jobs as the result of unexpected resignations, and without much in the way of credible competition from their colleagues... More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Labour Bill To Override Safety Act For Mine Entry

“Bill English has been hiding behind the legal excuse that any attempt to re-enter the mine to recover the bodies might place the mine’s owner, Solid Energy Limited, and its directors in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015." More>>

ALSO:

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? 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>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news