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

 


Oil Exploration in Maui Dolphin Protection Zone


Click for big version.

Released Map Show Oil Exploration in Maui Dolphin Protection Zone Last Week

A map released today tracks the route of oil exploration ship Duke just off the coast of Patea and Whanganui which runs over Maui’s dolphin habitat, and the protected area for Maui’s Dolphin recommended by the International Whaling Commission last month. Dr Liz Slooten, an Otago University expert in whales, dolphins and porpoises, says the map clearly shows oil exploration breaching the protected area for Maui’s dolphin that has strong public support from all around the country and from New Zealand and international scientists.

Dr Slooten says Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith is wrong about Maui dolphins not being in the oil survey zones (1). “The Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission has urged New Zealand to protect Maui’s dolphins out to 20 nautical miles offshore from Maunganui Bluff in the north to Whanganui in the south. These oil surveys put the world’s smallest dolphin at further risk by covering more than half of the protected area recommended by the IWC. This could literally be the last nail in the coffin for Maui’s dolphin”.

Oil exploration ship Duke has been commissioned by Todd Shell. It has a long tail that trails behind the ship with detonators which sends a sonic explosion that penetrates the seabed and bounce back to the ship. This seismic testing reveals geologies below the seabed which may point to where oil and gas are located.

Dr Slooten says that having observers on oil survey vessels are “virtually useless” and do very little to protect whales.

“Overseas research has shown that observers on the seismic testing ships only see around ten percent of whales and dolphins in the area. That’s because sperm whales, for example, spend 45 minutes diving and feeding for every 10 minutes they comes to the surface to breathe.”

“Most of the whales that are sensitive to noise will be on the run or already be in deep trouble, before the observers can see them”, said Dr Slooten. “Seismic survey noise can be heard for at least 80 kilometres, but the observers can see whales and dolphins for only one or two kilometres, and then, only when they surface.”

“Beaked and sperm whales are sensitive to seismic sonar explosions for oil exploration that can damage hearing, whichwhales rely on to navigate, and they can be killed, if they’re very close to the sonic explosions”.


About half of the world’s whales, dolphin and porpoise species live in our waters. They often travel huge distances around our country at different times of the year.

Dr Liz Slooten says there are three common responses from when whales are scared by sonar:
1) a reaction to escape the sounds can push marine mammals into areas of other risks (eg netting)
2) because sound travels further in deep water, whales may head for shallower and shallower water where the sonar noise becomes quiet more quickly, and end up beaching themselves
3) beaked whales normally feed 1000-3000 deep off Northland and may panic and try to surface too quickly. This can give them the bends by not being able to depressurise. The result is death.

A rare pygmy sperm whale beached earlier this year near Raglan while seismic testing was going on for oil and gas. The cause of death is unknown because the whale was quickly shot and buried before an autopsy could be carried out.

(1) http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10193354/Nick-Smith-backtracks-over-Mauis-Dolphin

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Flyover Over: NZTA Not Appealing Flyover Decision

The NZ Transport Agency has decided not to appeal the High Court’s Basin Bridge decision, and says the High Court’s findings provide valuable clarity to help guide the development of future infrastructure projects throughout the country. More>>

ALSO:

Developing Crown Land: Government, Auckland Iwi Reach Agreement

The government has reached agreement with Ngati Whatua and other Auckland iwi over developing 500 hectares of excess land in Auckland for private housing which had been under High Court challenge. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Maurice Williamson

Maurice Williamson seems to have been granted an annual licence to embarrass the National Party, and its that time of year again. Also as per usual, Williamson’s recent exercise in sexism and homophobia has passed by with barely a murmur from his leader. More>>

ALSO:

Green Climate Plan: Shaw Launches 40% Emission Cut Target

Green Party co-leader James Shaw has announced an emissions target initiative for 40% reduction by 2030. He said agriculture has to long been used as a reason for inaction, a roadblock to action... He proposed a tax of 8 cents per kilo of milk. More>>

ALSO:


Images & Video: Four Alternative Flags For Referendum

Flag Consideration Panel chair, Professor John Burrows, said the Panel’s decision had been guided first and foremost by the results of its engagement programme across a range of communities where thousands of Kiwis shared what was special about New Zealand, as well as the Panel’s own selection criteria. More>>

ALSO:

Transport Report: LGNZ Calls For Proactive Approach To Mobilise Regions

LGNZ has today released Mobilising the Regions, its major transport study, which highlights the economic and social impact of strategic transport decisions nationally and in the regions, and the direct link between regional development, national prosperity, social well-being and cohesiveness. More>>

ALSO:

Transport: New Rules Bring Double-Deckers To Our Cities

New rules that allow buses, including double-deckers, to carry more people will ramp up the public transport offering in our cities, Transport Minister Simon Bridges and Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss say. More>>

ALSO:

Cycling:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news