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

 


Did Taranaki seismic survey cause whale strandings?

Did Taranaki seismic survey cause whale strandings?

Climate Justice Taranaki want urgent research done into the recent whale
strandings on Farewell Spit, to rule out any links between that tragedy
and a similarly timed seismic survey in Taranaki performed nearby.

The Polarcus Alima was doing seismic testing only about 90km from Farewell
Spit from January 5 until Janury 18. Between January 6th and January 18th
more than 50 pilot whales beached themselves on Farewell Spit, and another
52 whales had either died or been put down over the previous two weeks in
the area.

"Surely the coincidence is too high to be ignored. Research needs to be
done urgently to rule out seismic testing as a cause before more seismic
tests are undertaken around the country" said spokesperson Emily Bailey.

“Spring-summer is the main period when many historic strandings of pilot
whales have occurred at Farewell Spit, in part due to migratory behaviour.
Why then was seismic surveying allowed to take place at this critical
period, in such close proximity?”

According to Greenpeace USA, a US navy report admitted that their proposed
sonar tests would "cause whales to abandon their normal feeding grounds
and migration patterns". At least one seismic survey application was
recently turned down in the USA due to similar concerns.

"Whether finding prey, navigating, or finding a mate, whales and dolphins
(collectively called cetaceans) are reliant on sound. New Zealand is an
important habitat for many of the world’s cetacean species; however the
expansion of offshore oil and gas exploration has the potential to
severely impact many of the cetaceans in our waters. The seismic surveying
methods used during oil and gas exploration generate exceedingly loud
sounds which may travel large distances through water. These activities
therefore raise ocean noise levels to the point where behavioural and
physiological impacts on cetaceans can occur. The noise produced by
surveying activities may mask cetacean calls, interfering with behaviours
that are crucial for survival and reproduction. In extreme cases, the
noise produced during seismic surveying can cause physiological damage to
cetaceans, resulting in disorientation, strandings and death." stated a
2013 report by Dr Rachel Shaw. Shaw suggested full necropsies be
undertaken on the dead animals.

A march is to be held tomorrow (Friday January 24th) at 12:30pm in Midland
Park, Wellington, by local group Oil Free Wellington who are protesting
the arrival of the seismic survey ship MV Duke. The vessel is due to
seismically survey the eastern Cook Strait for possible deep sea drilling
for Texan company Anadarko. The Cook Strait is migration and feeding
territory to many of the world's species of cetaceans.

"Any further seismic surveys need to be halted until it can be ruled out
as the cause for the strandings and subsequent deaths of these whales. The
Polarcus Alima should not be allowed to leave the port until then."

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Finance: Major Campaign To End "Gross Overtaxation Of Savings"

The campaign – which includes a special web site through which New Zealanders can e-mail their own and other MPs and party leaders – is backed by Age Concern, Consumer NZ, the Financial Services Council and the Taxpayers’ Union. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Leighton-Led WGP To Build, Manage Transmission Gully

The Wellington Gateway Partnership, led by a unit of ASX-listed Leighton Holdings, has won the $1 billion contract to build the Transmission Gully road north of Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

Gareth Morgan: The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – Revisited

Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation... They found that the fresh water policy was a bit murkier than the Environment Minister let on. More>>

ALSO:

Interest Rates: RBNZ Hikes OCR To 3.5%, ‘Period Of Assessment’ Now Needed

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler raised the official cash rate as expected, while signalling a pause in rate hikes to assess the impact of moves so far this year. The kiwi dollar sank after Wheeler said its strength was “unjustified” and that the currency could have “a significant fall.” More>>

ALSO:

Fonterra: Canpac Site 'Resize' To Focus More On Paediatrics

Fonterra is looking at realigning its packing operations at Canpac, in the Waikato, to focus more on paediatric nutritionals... The proposed changes could mean around 110 roles may not be required at the site which currently employs 330. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Postie Plus Brand Gets 2nd Chance With Well-Funded Pepkor

The Postie Plus brand is getting a new lease of life after South Africa’s Pepkor bought the failed retailer’s assets out of administration and said it will use its purchasing power to reduce costs of stock and fatten margins. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news