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

2040 Target And Lower Standards: “Swimmable” Rivers Five Times More Likely To Make You Sick

Forest & Bird has condemned the government’s new water quality standards, warning New Zealanders that they lock in current levels of water pollution and allow for a 5-fold increase in the chance of getting sick from swimming in a river.

“Despite an explicit assurance from Minister Smith that the new water standards would provide for human and ecosystem health, he has failed to deliver on either of these things,” says Forest & Bird CEO Kevin Hague. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Immigration: Clampdown On Rogue Employers Good First Step

The Human Trafficking Research Coalition is pleased at the new clampdown on rouge employers who exploit migrants announced by Minister Woodhouse this morning, and believes this is a step in the right direction. More>>

ALSO:

Mayor: 750 New Social And Affordable Homes For Wellington (Over A Decade)

The next stage of Wellington’s Housing Upgrade Programme will see at least 750 new units of social and affordable housing built over the next decade, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

22/2: Christchurch Quake Memorial Unveiled

A city, a region, a nation and an international community impacted by the Canterbury Earthquakes will come together to mark the sixth anniversary of the deadly quake and dedicate Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial. More>>

ALSO:


November Quakes:

Gordon Campbell: On The Mana-Maori Party Deal

If the self-interest involved wasn’t so blatant, the electorate deal between the Maori Party and Hone Harawira would be kind of poignant. It’s a bit like seeing the remaining members of Guns’n’Roses or the Eagles back on the road touring the nostalgia circuit… playing all the old hits of Maori unity and kaupapa Maori politics. More>>

ALSO:

Private Provision: First Social Bond To Focus On Mental Health

New Zealand’s first social bond will help around 1700 people with mental illness into work, Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Social Investment Minister Amy Adams say. More>>

ALSO:

Immigration: Short Reprieve For Nine Indian Students

A temporary hold on deportations of nine Indian students is a step in the right direction but the Government urgently needs to implement safeguards to stop further injustices to more international students, the Green Party says. More>>

EARLIER:


Megaupload Case: High Court Rules Dotcom, Co-Accused Eligible For Extradion

Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and his three co-accused are eligible for extradition to the United States, New Zealand's High Court ruled... Justice Murray Gilbert upheld a decision by the District Court that there were grounds for Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato to be extradited. More>>

ALSO:

PREVIOUSLY:

Port Hills Fire: Midday Update, Monday 20 February

• 9 homes destroyed
• 2 homes with partial damage. Damage includes things like cracked windows, heat damage.
• 3 properties with damage to other external structures e.g sheds or outbuildings More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news