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CJT questions the cause of spermwhale death

Climate Justice Taranaki calls for a full investigation on the possible
causes of injury and death of the 12 sperm whale discovered along
Kaupokonui Beach, South Taranaki, last weekend.

“It is extremely upsetting whenever whale stranding and death occurs. We
know it is very difficult to determine the causes of mass whale
stranding and often there is no definitive answer. But with the
increasing human activities in our oceans, we must ask the hard
questions of whether we have caused or contributed to their demise. The
Tasman Sea has been exceptionally hot this past summer, in places more
than six degrees Celsius above normal, with cascading impacts on food
webs.

There is also ample research that demonstrates direct and indirect harm
on marine mammals from seismic testing. Here, we had the world’s largest
seismic testing ship, the Amazon Warrior, blasting off Taranaki from
north of Mokau to Whanganui for three months, till around the end of
March. Could the seismic blasting have injured the whales, displaced
them from their feeding grounds or weakened them by added stress?” Dr
Lyndon DeVantier, member of Climate Justice Taranaki.

The whales’ bodies were reportedly too decomposed for necropsies,
indicating that they likely died at sea en masse. We want a detailed
investigation on the possible causes of the tragic death of the whales.

"With the government’s recent decision of allowing existing petroleum
exploration and mining permits to continue, there will be increased
impacts on marine species and ecosystems from seismic blasting and
drilling for oil and gas. The Malaysian based Tamarind Taranaki Ltd has
already applied for permits to drill new side track wells at the Tui oil
field and discharge harmful substances at sea. We encourage everyone who
cares about our marine environment and climate to submit to the EPA in
opposition to Tamarind’s applications,” said Catherine Cheung, member of
Climate Justice Taranaki.




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