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

More Evidence - Scoop Press Conference Recordings:
PM's Post-Cab Presser 8/8/11
"at that point [Tucker] told me he'd release it ..."

Hager Revelations: Inquiry Into NZSIS Release Of Goff Docs

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS), Cheryl Gwyn, announced she would be instituting an inquiry concerning allegations that the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) might have released official information to Mr Cameron Slater, regarding briefings provided to the then Leader of the Opposition, for political purposes...

“I am satisfied there is a sufficient public interest justifying the commencement of an own-motion inquiry into the substance of the issues raised with my Office,” said Ms Gwyn. More>>

Goff: Director’s Letter Contradicts Key’s Claims

At yesterday’s media standup, when asked on the topic John Key said ‘I wasn’t told’...
“In a letter dated November 2011 former SIS director Warren Tucker states three times that ‘in accordance with the usual practice of keeping the minister informed’ the Prime Minister had been told. More>>


 

Parliament Today:

Schools, PPTA Sign Up: Primary Teachers And Principals Vote Down Govt Plan

Teachers and principals have voted overwhelmingly against the Government’s controversial “Investing in Educational Success” policy, including proposed highly-paid principal and teacher roles. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Usual Round Of Mud Slinging And Name-Calling

This week gave an interesting example of how hard it is to untangle the reality from the slanging matches. The issue that emerged early this week could hardly be more important. Does the government intend to cut spending in health, education and on the environment if re-elected, or not? More>>

Earlier:

Electionresults.co.nz: National and NZ First Rise in Roy Morgan Poll

National has bounced back in the latest Roy Morgan Poll but the big winner has been New Zealand First who rise to their highest level of support since September 2013. More>>

ALSO:

Fish Pun Warning: By Hoki! It’s Labour’s Fisheries Policy

A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. More>>

ALSO:

It's Official: Governor General Gives Direction To Conduct Election

The Governor General has signed the writ directing the Electoral Commission to conduct the General Election on 20 September 2014. This is the formal authority to run the 2014 election, and enables candidate nominations to open tomorrow Thursday 21 August 2014. More>>

Gordon Campbell: No More Mr Nice Guy

When future historians seek to identify the exact moment when the prime ministerial career of John Key hit the downward slope, they may well point to Key’s interview yesterday with Guyon Espiner on RNZ’s Morning Report. More>>

ALSO:

Dirty (Politics) Weekend: Collins’ Admission Reason For Key To Act

"Despite claiming that the evidence about her in Nicky Hager's book was ‘false’ Judith Collins has now been forced to admit that she did send information about a Ministerial Services staff member to Cameron Slater for him to use in a baseless smear campaign. More>>

ALSO:

Potential Disasters: Underground Coal Fire On Denniston Plateau

Forest & Bird says one or more coal fires have broken out beneath the Denniston Plateau, and that the Department of Conservation (DOC) must stop Bathurst Resources’ preparatory mining work going on there until the fire or fires are extinguished. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news