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

Gordon Campbell: On The Wage Hike For MPs (and Paul Robeson)

Hard to tell what is more infuriating. Is it the 5.3% increase on the already bloated salaries of MPs, or their pantomime of outrage at being gifted with such a wonderful back-dated bonanza?

As usual, Prime Minister John Key has busily tried to distance himself from the political fallout, even though he happens to be the main beneficiary of the Remuneration Authority’s generosity. Finance Minister Bill English says with a straight face that it would actually be very hard to give the money back...

Even if it were true, it would actually be very easy for English and any other guilty colleagues, to give the extra money away. There are any number of food banks or homeless shelters who would be able to put the money to good use. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

No Designers Or Visual Artists: Flag Panel Members Announced

The Government has appointed 12 New Zealanders as members of the Flag Consideration Panel which will engage with the public about a possible new New Zealand flag, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English says. More>>

ALSO:

Labour MP Stands Down From Portfolio: Comment From Carmel Sepuloni

The first I knew of my mother’s charges was when I was called by a reporter yesterday. I spoke to Andrew and we agreed there is a conflict of interest at the present time which means I will temporarily stand aside from the Social Development portfolio. It’s the right thing to do… . More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Whether NZ Troops Are The Least Of Islamic State’s Problems

Given that it has been politically packaged and sold as a training mission, the Iraq deployment announced yesterday by Prime Minister John Key seemed to be mysteriously short of actual trainers... The other wing of the argument is whether a troop deployment is (a) the only effective way and (b) the appropriate time to combat Islamic State. More>>

ALSO:

143 Troops, Possible SAS Deployment, Legalities Unsorted: PM’s Statement On ISIL

Mr Speaker, today I am announcing to the House the Government’s decisions about our contribution to the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL... More>>

ALSO:

Liu Saga: PM's Dinner With Controversial Donor

John Key must front up to New Zealand and say what he discussed with Donghua Liu when the disgraced businessman paid $25,000 for the Prime Minister to come to dinner at his Remuera home, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Roads: National MP 'Concerned' At Overseas Driver Crashes

Waitaki MP and Parliamentary Private Secretary for Tourism Jacqui Dean said she was concerned at the number of fatal crashes involving overseas licence holders and she really felt that the time had come for more to be done. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: Parole Bill Passes

A bill reducing parole hearings deemed to be unnecessary has passed. The third reading of the Parole Amendment Bill was completed by 104 to 16 with the Greens and Maori Party opposed. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news