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

 


Experts Appalled at Oil Survey Threat to Maui Dolphin

Experts Appalled at Oil Survey Threat to Maui Dolphin

Monday 14 July 2014: Following yesterday’s rally at John Key’s electorate office in Kumeu, international dolphin experts are appalled that that the Government has allowed seismic oil surveys to occur in the protected area for the world’s smallest and most endangered dolphin a week after a dead blue whale washed ashore on the Taranaki coast.

“We ask the Prime Minister to immediately halt all seismic and sonar surveys in the Maui protection area and for this zone to be extended to 20 nautical miles offshore, as recommended by the International Whaling Commission,” says Dr Liz Slooten, Maui dolphin expert of Otago University.

“If you wanted to protect the last Maui dolphins, one of the last things you’d do is head into their habitat exploding sonic airguns that can injure and killwhales and dolphins,” says Dr Liz Slooten. “It is a recipe for extinction. But that’s exactly what’s been happening since early June.”

On 4 July a dead blue whale washed ashore at Tapuae Beach, Taranaki (1) but was too decomposed to ascertain the cause of death.

Oil survey ship Duke, commissioned byTodd Shell, had surveyed throughout June within the Maui dolphin protectionarea south of Mt Taranaki (2). This is where blue whales, usually solitary animals, have been recently discovered gathering to feed (2).

An attached map shows the route of the seismic testing two weeks ago, in another part of the Maui dolphin protection zone west of Mt Taranaki and near New Plymouth (also read map interpretation at end of this media release).

"The argument from oil companies that seismic surveys haven't been associated with dolphin or whale deaths is practicallymeaningless at best, or false, at worst,” says Dr Lindy Weilgart one of the world experts on the impact of sonar on whales and dolphins of Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada.

“Seismic surveys have been strongly tied to fatal whale, dolphin and giant squid strandings and deaths at sea,” said DrWeilgart. "Of course, if you don't look, you won't see. Oil and gas companies do not undertake thorough surveys for whale and dolphin carcasses. Even if they did, only about 3% of dolphin carcasses are ever detected, as they sink or are eaten by predators.”

“Finally, immediate deaths are not the only concern. Seismic surveys can cause dolphins to avoid important habitat, can interfere with their food-finding, reproduction, resting, and hearing sounds vital to their survival, and can cause stress effects. All these canhave serious impacts on the welfare of these populations and the welfare oftheir prey," she said.

1 http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/10231887/Dead-whale-washes-up-on-beach

2 http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1407/S00066/oil-exploration-in-maui-dolphin-protection-zone.htm

3 http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/9681753/Blue-whale-dine-out-off-Taranaki-in-their-dozens

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news