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 Last Night’s Debate, And The Collins Accusation

Debating is a peculiar discipline in that what you say is less important than how you’re saying it. Looking poised, being articulate and staying on topic generally wins the day – and on that score, Labour leader David Cunliffe won what turned out to be a bruising encounter with Prime Minister John Key last night on TVNZ.

Cunliffe marshalled his points better, kept Key off balance and – more often than not – was in control of the general tenor of the contest. Labour supporters would have been heartened, and given some belated reassurance that maybe the change of leadership last year had been the right decision. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On Winston Peters' Latest Bout Of Immigrant Bashing

It is only one poll, but rather than cannibalising each other's vote, Colin Craig and Winston Peters do seem to be managing to find the room to co-exist... Few are questioning how Peters got to this happy place, and what it says about the mood of the electorate. More>>

ALSO:

More Immigration News: First People Trafficking Charges

The first people trafficking charges in New Zealand have been brought by Immigration New Zealand (INZ)... The defendants have been charged under the Crimes Act 1961 for arranging by deception the entry of 18 Indian nationals into New Zealand. More>>

Collins 'Misinterprets Media Reports': "Too Compromised To Remain Justice Minister"

Bizarre claims by Judith Collins this morning that she had been cleared of inappropriate behaviour by the Privacy Commissioner demonstrates she is too compromised to remain Justice Minister, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Labour On Climate Change: Focus On The Now For The Future

A Labour Government will put in place a comprehensive climate change strategy focusing on both mitigation and adaptation, establish an independent Climate Commission and implement carbon budgeting, says Labour Climate Change spokesperson Moana Mackey. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Housing Assistance Plan

So, as many as 90,000 people could derive some benefit from National’s housing assistance plans for low and middle-income earners... Yet in reality, the benefits seem likely to be insignificant, and they will be skewed towards those at the top end of the income group that’s supposedly the target. More>>

ALSO:

Election Data Consortium: National’s Worst Case Scenario At Stage One?

A month out from the general election and ipredict traders are still forecasting National’s vote to slip below current polling levels and there is potential for it to fall further. More>>

ALSO:

From The Scoop Video Archive: PM Says SIS "Told Me" About OIA Release

In a press conference immediately following an controversial OIA release of notes on an SIS briefing to then Labour leader Phil Goff, Key said "at that point [Tucker] told me he'd release it ...". Since the release of Nicky Hager's 'Dirty Politics' Key has denied being personally informed and said references by officials to 'the PM' being told briefed referred to his office. He now says the same about his own statement. More>>

ALSO:

  • Scoop Video in the news - New questions over Key claims | NZ Herald News - Stuff.co.nz
  • Earlier - Felix Marwick: Laying out facts over SIS documents - Newstalk ZB
  • Labour - Director’s letter contradicts Key’s claims
  • ACT - The Letter - 26 days to go
  • TV3 Video - Housing issue nudges Dirty Politics aside - David Cunliffe: Key's SIS explanation 'defies belief' - SIS leak came from Key's Office - Goff - Key 'categorically denies' Slater OIA discussion - Video: Key faces more Dirty Politics questions

  • TVNZ - Winston Peters: ‘Dirty Politics' is a new low
  • The Nation - Debate Between Grant Robertson And Russel Norman
  • NZ First - “The Words Mean What I Say They Mean”
  • Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Politics
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news