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

 

Superu Report: Land Regulation Drives Auckland House Prices

Land use regulation is responsible for up to 56 per cent of the cost of an average house in Auckland according to a new research report quantifying the impact of land use regulations, Finance Minister Steven Joyce says. More>>

ALSO:

Fletcher Whittled: Fletcher Dumps Adamson In Face Of Dissatisfaction

Fletcher Building has taken the unusual step of dumping its chief executive, Mark Adamson, as the company slashed its full-year earnings guidance and flagged an impairment against Australian assets. More>>

ALSO:

No More Dog Docking: New Animal Welfare Regulations Progressed

“These 46 regulations include stock transport, farm husbandry, companion and working animals, pigs, layer hens and the way animals are accounted for in research, testing and teaching.” More>>

ALSO:

Employment: Most Kiwifruit Contractors Breaking Law

A Labour Inspectorate operation targeting the kiwifruit industry in Bay of Plenty has found the majority of labour hire contractors are breaching their obligations as employers. More>>

ALSO:

'Work Experience': Welfare Group Opposes The Warehouse Workfare

“This programme is about exploiting unemployed youth, not teaching them skills. The government are subsidising the Warehouse in the name of reducing benefit dependency,” says Vanessa Cole, spokesperson for Auckland Action Against Poverty. More>>

ALSO:

Internet Taxes: Labour To Target $600M In Unpaid Taxes From Multinationals

The Labour Party would target multinationals operating in New Zealand to ensure they don't avoid paying tax if it wins power and is targeting $600 million over three years through a "diverted profits tax," says leader Andrew Little. More>>

ALSO: