Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Working with Bay of Island boat owners to protect dolphins

Media release

Thursday April 7, 2016

DOC working with Bay of Island boat owners to protect local dolphins

The Department of Conservation (DOC) has begun working with boat owners, iwi and the wider Bay of Islands community on ways to better manage boat interactions with local bottlenose dolphins.

A Massey University report, commissioned by DOC, indicates a very high level of interaction between boats and dolphins, and an ongoing fall in the local bottlenose dolphin population in the Bay of Islands.

The local bottlenose population has fallen from more than 250 individuals to fewer than 100 in the past 15 years.

Bottlenose dolphins are found around the world and the global population is not endangered. However bottlenose dolphins living in New Zealand are classified as endangered because the three main populations are small and more vulnerable.

There is a risk, if the local population continues to fall that bottlenose dolphins will be driven out of the Bay of Islands.

DOC Northern North Island Director of Operations, Sue Reed-Thomas says Bay of Islands bottlenose dolphins are facing a unique situation because of the very heavy boat traffic in the area.

“The Bay of Islands is a boating Mecca with a high density of boats on the water. As a result the study shows dolphins in the area are spending 86% of their daylight hours in the presence of at least one boat.”

“This is very disruptive for the dolphins. It means they spend far less time feeding, nursing their young and sleeping.”

“We know people love dolphins. People are simply loving them too much,” says Sue Reed-Thomas.

The majority of interactions involves private boats and commercial vessels taking tourists around the Bay of Islands. These boat owners interact with dolphins when they see them while cruising.

“It’s very difficult to manage a group of wild animals swimming freely. The dolphins often swim towards boats themselves and you simply can’t put a barrier around them or monitor every interaction they have,” says Sue Reed-Thomas.

“Everyone who puts a boat on the water in the Bay of Islands needs to be aware of the problem so they play their part in protecting the local dolphin population.”

DOC has already picked up on some of the recommendations in the Massey scientists’ report.

“We’ve begun talking to local boat operators and iwi as part of an education and engagement programme. We will also be maintaining our moratorium on new commercial dolphin watching operations in the region and looking at strengthening local marine mammal regulations,” says Sue Reed-Thomas.

“DOC will continue working with all boat owners operating in the Bay of Islands - plus iwi and the wider community - to develop a co-ordinated and effective response to this issue,” says Sue Reed-Thomas.

Background information:

• Bottlenose dolphins are widely distributed around the world and at a global level the species is not considered endangered. However New Zealand’s resident bottlenose dolphin populations are relatively small and centred around coastal areas in the Bay of Islands, Fiordland and the north western South Island regions. There are believed to be less than 1000 bottlenose dolphins across these populations and in New Zealand they are classified as nationally endangered. For more information on bottlenose dolphins see:http://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native-animals/marine-mammals/dolphins/bottlenose-dolphin/

• Commercial operators require permits to run dolphin watching tours which set out specific conditions to protect dolphins from undue stress. General information about how all boat and vessel owners should behave around dolphins is available on DOC’s website: http://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native-animals/marine-mammals/sharing-our-coasts-with-marine-mammals/

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Clark Exit, Convention Centres, And The Killing Of Hachalu Hundessa


Goodbye, David Clark. In the end, the outgoing Health Minister decided that in the midst of a pandemic the best thing he could do for New Zealand would be to no longer be there – given that being there had involved hiving off on his mountain bike during a lockdown, and throwing the country’s most beloved Health bureaucrat under a bus. As Clark indicated so memorably at last week’s press conference, when it comes to managing public health risks at the border the buck stops with…that guy over there! In the aftermath of that debacle, Clark reached the same conclusion the nation had reached some time ago, that leadership just wasn’t his thing. Once again, he got on his bike.... More>>
 

Government: David Clark Resigns As Health Minister

The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has accepted David Clark’s resignation as Health Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Election 2020: Green Party Unveils Income Policy

The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity. The scheme resets income support payments to ensure everyone not in full-time paid work gets at least ... More>>

ALSO:


Conservation: New Protection For Dolphins

Extensive new protections are being put in place as part of an updated plan to look after New Zealand’s native Hector’s and Māui dolphins, announced Minister of Fisheries Stuart Nash and Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland: Water Consent Referred To Board Of Inquiry

Environment Minister David Parker has today “called in” Auckland’s application to the Waikato Regional Council to take an extra 200 million litres of water a day from the lower reaches of the Waikato River for Auckland drinking water and other municipal uses... More>>

ALSO:

Gun Law: A New Firearms System Focused On Safety

Tougher gun laws will begin to take effect from next week following the passage of new firearms legislation through Parliament today. The Minister of Police says the Third Reading of the Arms Legislation Bill is an historic milestone for community ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: Building A Stronger Health And Disability System

The Government is committing to a long-term programme of reform to build a stronger New Zealand Health and Disability System that delivers for all. More>>

ALSO:

National: Todd Muller Announces Caucus Reshuffle

Today I am confirming a minor shadow cabinet reshuffle due to the retirement of Paula Bennett. Dr Shane Reti will be ranked number 13 and will take on Associate Drug Reform. Shane has demonstrated a huge intellect and capacity for work, supporting ... More>>

Biosecurity: Winston Peters On EU Travel: 'We're Not Going To Compromise Our Country's Health'

Foreign Minister Winston Peters says New Zealanders who head to Europe on holiday should pay for their two weeks' hotel quarantine when they return. More>>

Economy: Infrastructure Investment To Create Jobs, Kick-Start COVID Rebuild

A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister ... More>>

ALSO:

Covid-19: Isolation System To Be Beefed Up After Stress

A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify ... More>>

ALSO:

Election 2020: Parties Get Into Gear

ACT has today announced its list for the 2020 General Election. “The calibre and experience of our candidates will impress voters of every persuasion. We have candidates from all walks of life. People who have built their homes, families and businesses ... More>>

ALSO:


Int'l Trade: New Zealand To Host Virtual APEC In 2021

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker announced today that New Zealand’s hosting of APEC in 2021 will go ahead using virtual digital platforms. Mr Peters said the global disruption caused by COVID-19, ... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels