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


Dolphin Protection Simple but Government’s Plan Inadequate

Dolphin Protection Simple but Government’s Threat Management Plan Inadequate says World Animal Protection.

Christine Rose, Campaign Manager, World Animal Protection says:

“The New Zealand Ministers for Conservation and Fisheries today (11/06/19) launched the long awaited Threat Management Plan (TMP) for Māui and Hector’s dolphins. But the consultation document is complex, when what’s needed to save the dolphins from extinction is simple, says World Animal Protection, a global science-led animal welfare organisation campaigning to save these dolphins here.

International experts and the International Whaling Commission all recommend full habitat protection for Māui and Hector’s dolphins says World Animal Protection Campaign Advisor Christine Rose. That means: protection from human threats wherever the dolphins live around most of New Zealand’s coast, out to 100m deep, in harbours, and in dolphin corridors between sub-populations, supported by full observer and camera monitoring and compliance.

However, the Threat Management Plan released is made complex, by offering a range of options and sub-options (to placate industry stakeholders)and therefore conflates direct human threats such as fishing by-catch, with indirect threats such as toxoplasmosis, a disease in the environment that is of arguably less impact and much more difficult to manage.

The TMP fails to apply a comprehensive approach to Māui and Hector’s protection – but takes a peicemeal, fragmented view of what’s in fact a contiguous habitat – the dolphins are found along the coast and out to sea, but the Plan offers partial protection in distinct parts of the coast as part of a range of options, for example, proposing banning set nets in Pegasus Bay, Kaikoura, Timaru, but trawls in Pegasus Bay, Timaru and the South Coast, but not necessarily the connecting habitat between them.It also compartmentalises Māui and Hector’s populations by failing to take a habitat wide approach- protecting the dolphin habitat completely, out to 100m deep and in harbours and corridors, - so therefore the plan fails both dolphins and the New Zealand public.

The plan proposes closures of set net and trawl fishing at variable distances from shore in different areas, but these set and trawl net restrictions don’t necessarily overlap, and despite the fact that the dolphins use their habitat determined not by distance from shore in a given area but water depth, so the proposed rules won’t be clear and simple for the public, interest groups, or consistent with dolphin habitat.

There’s a focus on the creation of Marine Mammal Sanctuaries in the new TMP but in fact these ‘Sanctuaries’ are more in name than in reality, more symbolism than substance. They don’t address fishieries impact wich falls under the Fisheries Act, not the Marine Mammal Act. But even at best, as tools to address non-fishing impacts they are inadequate because they fail to address existing permited activities (and extensions of these), and industrial activities such as pile driving in Lyttelton Harbour, currently putting Hector’s under duress.

The TMP proposes an option to mandate compliance with the Seismic Testing Code of Compliance, but suggests no change to manage oil spill risks, coastal development, pollution or climate change. These are all impacts that are more difficult to address than mortal fishing threats, but we fail to deal with those adequately either.

What’s needed to protect the dolphins from the main human impacts is simple –

• Protection from set and gill nets out to 100m deep everywhere the dolphins live

• Protection from set and gill nets in the areas between discrete habitats where the dolphins roam – the dolphin corridors, including between the North and South Islands

• A prohibition on set nets within dolphin habitat harbours

• Avoid, remove and properly manage other threats within these areas including seismic testing, and noisy marine activities such as pile driving and mineral extraction;

• Monitor and regulate activities to address risk of boat strike and habitat disturbance;

• Monitoring and enforcement via a comprehensive observer and monitoring regime, on all boats fishing in Māui and Hector’s habitat.

Instead of the comprehensive approach to protection recommended by sciemtists and the IWC that covers the whole habitat from the most significant human threats – specifically fishing, the TMP fails to give a clear steer on what’s needed and the proposed response. But the solution is simple, tackle the industry and get the nets out fof the dolphin habitat now, while the dolphins still have a chance.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Beehive Protest Block Roads: Ihumātao Eviction Doesn't Stop Occupation

Police have pepper-sprayed two dogs and arrested three people at the scene of a stand-off over contested Māori land in Auckland.

The site at Ihumātao near Auckland Airport is due to be developed by Fletcher Building but has been the subject of a bitter dispute and occupation, and an eviction notice was served against occupiers yesterday.

Hundreds of demonstrators and dozens of police officers are now at the site, after a group of 50 stayed overnight. Three people were arrested yesterday. More>>

Ihumātao Protest In Wellington Blocks Street
Protesters have gathered near Parliament and blocked part of a nearby road over a dispute about contested land in Auckland. About 300 people gathered at Parliament, and protesters blocked Lambton Quay. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Latest Struggle For Gun Reform

The gun lobby can be relied on to drag its feet at best (and actively resist at worst) in the face of any attempt to make gun ownership safer for the families and communities within which the gun owners happen to live. More>>


Review Launched: 'Comprehensive Overhaul' Of The RMA

The Government has today launched a comprehensive overhaul of the Resource Management Act to cut complexity and costs and better enable urban development, while also improving protection of the environment. More>>


███ ██████ ██ ██████: Ombudsman Like Treasury OIA Practice

Mr Boshier found there was a positive culture at the Treasury around the importance of the OIA and openness and transparency, consistent with the Treasury’s role as a provider of free and frank advice. More>>


Separation: Law Commission Recommends New Law For Dividing Property

The Law Commission recommends a range of changes to make the law fairer for partners dividing property on separation. More>>


'ClimbIt Crisis: Greenpeace Climbers Reach OMV Majestic Centre HQ

The two Greenpeace climbers who are scaling the outside of the tallest building in Wellington have unfurled the first of a series of banners. More>>


Suspect Was Also Kicked: Shots Fired To Warn Fleeing Driver Not Justified

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that an officer's decision to fire three warning shots to stop a fleeing driver from reversing towards him was not justified. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Being Australia's Pacific Go-Fers

Inevitably, there was an aspect of ‘what might have been’ about the weekend’s meeting in Canberra between PM Jacinda Ardern and her Australian counterpart, Scott Morrison... More>>


RNZ: Trades Hall Bombing Case Re-Opened, Evidence Released

The cold case has been reopened and the police have recently revealed more details about the bomb's components - including that it was wrapped in a 1977 edition of The Evening Post. More>>

Safety: Govt Targets Fewer Deaths On The Road

“Most roads deaths and serious injuries are preventable and too many New Zealanders have lost their lives or been seriously injured in crashes that could have been prevented by road safety upgrades,” said Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. More>>


Pay Rise Delay: Teachers Unions Plan Legal Action Against Novopay

Both of the teachers unions - NZEI and the PPTA - have confirmed they will be taking legal action against Novopay. More>>





InfoPages News Channels