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

 

Vestas 11th Hour Racing Meets World Renowned Orca Researcher

Vestas 11th Hour Racing Meets World Renowned Orca Researcher Dr. IngridVisser

Day spent on the water understanding human impact on marine mammals - Grant awarded to Orca Research Trust

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND (March 16, 2018) Ahead of the start of Leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race from New Zealand to Brazil, Vestas 11th Hour Racing team members gathered at the Weiti River, just outside Auckland, to spend the morning exploring the estuary as Dr. Visser explained Orca Research Trust’s work. A few years ago, Tony Mutter watched a documentary on a flight home to New Zealand calledSwimming with Killer Whales. Dr. Ingrid Visser captivated his attention – but the connection between pollution on land and how it impacts the ocean was what hit home.

“Watching the documentary taught me a lot about water run-off, from farms, and how it enters the ocean and affects wildlife," said Tony Mutter, Crew Member, Vestas 11th Hour Racing. “I hope our support of Orca Research Trust will help raise awareness on the importance of changing our habits on land to protect the ocean.”

While there are currently fewer than 200 orca in New Zealand waters, the iconic marine mammal is revered by the Maori, the indigenous people of New Zealand, and are often spotted in harbors and along the coast. The Orca Research Trust, founded by Dr. Visser in 1998, was the first scientific research project to study orca in New Zealand waters and remains so to this day. Dr. Visser’s work at the Orca Research Trust has also led to having a much better understanding of the toxins present in orca that live in New Zealand waters. Orca around the world have adapted to eat prey that are abundant in their region, and for the orca of New Zealand, this includes eating rays, bottom feeders that are commonly found close to shore and in busy industrial harbors. As large animals eat smaller species, they accumulate toxins (such as heavy metals like mercury and environmental contaminant such as PCBs ) that their prey has absorbed. Orca are particularly at risk as they eat animals that are also at the top of the food chain such as sharks. Dr. Visser, having seen the issues first-hand, has campaigned to reduce chemicals entering into the watershed.

“My fascination with orca has led me to better understand how connected we all are to the ocean. Chemicals used on farms and oil leaking from a car parked in the street, these are just some of the examples where there can be an impact downstream, literally and figuratively,” said Dr. Ingrid Visser, Founder & Principal Scientist of Orca Research Trust. “If we make small changes in our own lives, we can have a marked effect on the health of the ocean and all the creatures that live in it, not to mention us, who use and enjoy it.”

Beyond researching and observing these magnificent creatures, the Orca Research Trust also focuses their work on education and awareness. New Zealand has the highest stranding rate of orca worldwide, averaging one per year – in Australia, which has a much longer coastline, orca strandings are recorded approximately once every 14 years. Dr. Visser believes New Zealand’s high rates, to be due to hunting rays, which often forage in shallow waters. She has worked to study the recovery of orca that are successfully returned to the water after a stranding, while also raising public awareness for swiftly reporting strandings so these fascinating sea mammals can be returned to the water.

“One of the most satisfying parts of my research is to have a successful rescue of an orca – to see it return to its family” Dr. Visser stated.

“I am very passionate about educating the sailing community about how they can help protect cetaceans, and it was an honor to spend the day with Dr. Visser on her iconic red RIB and learning about her work,” said Damian Foxall, Sustainability Manager, Vestas 11th Hour Racing. “This is a wonderful opportunity to link between sustainable land management and the effect it has on our freshwater systems and oceans - wherever we live we are all ocean citizens.”

3 Tips to Protect Marine Mammals from Land

• Sustainable land management starts with how you manage your yard and garden, at home or at work. Native plants can help filter runoff, and switching to organic fertilizers protects your local watershed.

• Stop oil leaks. Whether from your boat or your car, the chemicals will make it into the ocean.

• What you put down the drain gets into the ocean. Use non-toxic cleaning products to protect your local watershed.

ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


HiveMind: Fair Enough? How Should New Zealanders Be Taxed? - Have Your Say

Scoop and PEP invite you to share your issues, ideas and perspectives on the NZ tax system with other New Zealanders using Scoop’s HiveMind tool. This Tax HiveMind is intended to complement and feed into the review being run by the Government-appointed Tax Working Group (TWG), which is looking at the fairness, balance and structure of the tax system with a 10-year time horizon.

We at Scoop and PEP believe that an issue as important as the fairness of the tax regime should be open for discussion, debate and dialogue. Unfortunately, a written submission process just doesn’t encourage the kind of public exchange we think is necessary in a well-functioning democracy. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Thompson + Clark & Russia’s World Cup

Daily, the coalition government keeps running into examples of the toxic legacy left behind by National – and just as regularly, even the simple fixes are proving stubbornly difficult to enact. Take the case of the security firm Thompson + Clark ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The GCSB’s Security Hang-Up With Russia

So our GCSB has chimed in, alongside its British, Australian and US allies, with warnings about a “fresh wave” of Russian cyber attacks, although the warning has been curiously framed. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Europe Trip: CHOGM & Bilateral Meetings

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is in urope for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London and meetings with counterparts in Paris and Berlin. More>>

ALSO:

Hit And Run: AG Gives Approval For Inquiry

Attorney-General David Parker has today announced a Government Inquiry will be held into Operation Burnham and related events. The operation undertaken in Tirgiran Valley, Afghanistan, ... More>>

ALSO:

Addressing Climate Change: No New Offshore Exploration Permits

The Coalition Government is taking an important step to address climate change and create a clean, green and sustainable future for New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. More>>

ALSO:

Road Safety Summit: Actions To Improve Identified

The Local Government Road Safety Summit held last week identified actions that will lead to lasting changes to road safety in New Zealand, says Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages