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

 

Company Results: Air NZ Rides The Tourism Boom With Record Full-Year Earnings

Air New Zealand has ridden the tourism boom and staved off increased competition to deliver the best full-year earnings in its 76-year history. More>>

ALSO:

New PGP: Sheep Milk Industry Gets $12.6M Crown Funding

The Sheep - Horizon Three programme aims to develop "a market driven, end-to-end value chain generating annual revenues of between $200 million and $700 million by 2030," according to a joint statement. More>>

ALSO:

Half Full: Fonterra Raises Forecast Milk Price

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited today increased its 2016/17 forecast Farmgate Milk Price by 50 cents to $4.75 per kgMS. When combined with the forecast earnings per share range for the 2017 financial year of 50 to 60 cents, the total payout available to farmers in the current season is forecast to be $5.25 to $5.35 before retentions. More>>

ALSO:

Keep Digging: Seabed Ironsands Miner TransTasman Tries Again

The first company to attempt to gain a resource consent to mine ironsands from the ocean floor in New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone has lodged a new application containing fresh scientific and other evidence it hopes will persuade regulators after their initial application was turned down in 2014. More>>

Wool Pulled: Duvets Sold As ‘Premium Alpaca’ Mostly Sheep’s Wool

Rotorua business Budge Collection Limited (Budge) and sole director, Sun Dong Kim, were convicted and fined a total of $71,250 in Auckland District Court after each pleading guilty to four charges of misrepresenting how much alpaca fibre was in their duvets. More>>

Reserve Bank: Labour Calls For Monetary Policy To Expand Goals

Labour's comments follow a speech today by RBNZ governor Graeme Wheeler in which Wheeler sought to answer critics who variously say he should stop lowering interest rates, lower them faster, or that inflation-targeting should no longer be the primary goal of the central bank's activities. More>>

ALSO:

BSA Extension And Sunday Morning Ads: Digital Convergence Bill Captures Online Content

Broadcasting Minister Amy Adams has today announced the Government’s plans to update the Broadcasting Act to better reflect today’s converged market... The Government considered four areas as part of its review into content regulation: classification requirements, advertising restrictions, election programming and contestable funding. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news