Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Comprehensive protection required to save Hector’s dolphin

hectors dolphin
jumping

Monday 8 April 2013

Comprehensive protection required to save Hector’s dolphin

New Zealand’s heavily endangered Hector’s dolphin population could recover if protection measures were extended out to 100m deep throughout its habitat, according to a new University of Otago review.

Zoology Associate Professor Liz Slooten’s review into the effectiveness of area-based management to reduce dolphin bycatch found that such an approach can succeed if certain key criteria are met.

These include the protected area being large enough, in the right location and key threats being effectively managed as well as removing impacts from fishing rather than displacing them and ensuring no new threats are added (such as marine mining, tidal energy generation, or pollution).

The review is published in the international journal Endangered Species Research.


Left map: NZ dolphin distribution in red. Protected areas in green. New Zealand and overseas experts have urged the NZ government to 'turn the red sea green' and protect NZ dolphins out to the 100 metre depth contour, throughout their distribution (see right map).

Associate Professor Slooten says that a long-term study of the Banks Peninsula marine mammal sanctuary shows that protected areas, where gillnets and trawling are banned, can work.

“At Banks Peninsula, survival rates have increased by 5.4% since the sanctuary’s creation in 1988, and the previously rapid population decline has slowed substantially.

“However, nationwide, Hector’s dolphins continue to slide towards extinction, mainly due to continuing bycatch in areas with few or no dolphin protection measures,” she says.

Examples include the lack of any dolphin protection off the South Island north coasts, and that Hector’s dolphins range to 6 nautical miles off the west coast of the South Island, but protection only extends to 2 nautical miles offshore, and then only for 3 months of the year, she says.

Several scientific organisations, including the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) have recently recommended that protection be extended out to 100 metres deep in Hector’s dolphin habitats.

“Most Hector’s do not range beyond waters of this depth. Extending protection out to this mark would largely eliminate the currently unsustainable level of bycatch.”

Associate Professor Slooten says if the measure was adopted it is calculated that dolphin populations could recover to around 15,000 within 40 years.

These are currently estimated to be 7270 South Island Hector’s dolphins and as few as 55 North Island Hector’s dolphin, which is also known as Maui’s dolphin.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Tubes: Tasman Global Access Cable Goes Live

Spark, Vodafone and Telstra have today announced the Tasman Global Access (TGA) cable is officially in service and ready to carry vast quantities of Internet traffic between New Zealand and the world. More>>

ALSO:

Theresa Does: Brexit Letter Sees NZD Touch Week-High Vs GBP On Brexit

The New Zealand dollar rose to a week-high against the British pound and euro after UK Prime Minister Theresa May officially triggered Britain's exit from the European Union. More>>

ALSO:

Statistics: Business Research And Development Up 29 Percent

Computer services and machinery manufacturing firms led the way in an almost 30 percent lift in business spending on research and development (R&D) in 2016, Stats NZ said today. Businesses spent $1.6 billion on R&D in 2016, up $356 million (29 percent) from 2014. More>>

ALSO:

China Shopping: NZ-China FTA Upgrade Agreed Among Slew Of New Deals

New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English and China Premier Li Keqiang signed off a series of cooperation deals spanning trade, customs, travel and climate change and confirmed commencement of official talks on an upgrade to the nine-year old free-trade agreement between the two countries. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news