Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Tally of mutilated Hector's dolphins grows

Tally of mutilated Hector's dolphins grows


Hector's dolphins are being killed and mutilated, according to evidence from the Department of Conservation.

Forest & Bird obtained data from DOC under the Official Information Act about the number of Hector's and Maui's dolphins found mutilated round New Zealand's coastline. The records show there have been 36 cases of dolphins found mutilated since 1980, including five cases from the 1980s, 14 cases from the 1990s and 17 cases since 2000.

Five dolphins had their bellies slit open, one in 2004 had its head cut off and had been hit with a blunt instrument, eight had their tails or tail flukes cut off, two had fins cut off, two had been filleted, one was gutted and another nine dolphin carcasses had knife marks on them.

In one case in 1990 a dolphin skull was found that definitely showed it had been shot, with clear entry and exit wounds, and in another case, in 1989, a carcass was found with a partially severed head that had probably also been shot. In another case in 2003, a dolphin showing net marks was found cut in half (the official data notes that this may have been done to evade discovery).

In 15 cases the dolphins were known to have been killed in set nets or had set net marks on their bodies.

The mutilated bodies were found on beaches around the country, and post mortems were done by Massey University pathologists.

Forest & Bird Marine Conservation Advocate Kirstie Knowles says it is feared that mutilations may be inflicted by fishers who have accidentally caught Hector's dolphins in their nets and are trying to hide the evidence by cutting up the dolphins and burying the body parts or letting them sink.

"It is more difficult for pathologists to determine the cause of death if a dolphin body is mutilated. It is not possible to definitely attribute the mutilations to any individuals or groups, but the fishing industry is keen to avoid tougher measures to protect dolphins from being tangled in fishing nets."

Forest & Bird wants a ban on set nets, which are used to catch fish in coastal waters where Hector's and Maui's dolphins live. The small dolphins get tangled in the nets and drown.

Hector's dolphins are an endangered species. A sub-species, Maui's dolphin, numbers just 111 individuals, and is critically endangered.

In May the government announced measures to protect Hector's and Maui's dolphins, including marine mammal sanctuaries and bans on set netting in the coastal waters where the dolphins are most often found.

Five commercial fishing companies have legally challenged the fishing measures, and the High Court will hear the case in April. Meanwhile, an injunction is in place so commercial set net fishing can continue in some areas where Hector's and Maui's dolphins are found.

Forest & Bird advises anyone who finds dead dolphins or other marine mammals to immediately report the death to DOC and report any illegal fishing activity to the Ministry of Fisheries.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On What Triggered The Carnage In Gaza

At last count, 195 Palestinians have reportedly died in the latest round of violence, 55 of them children. Roughly ten times that number have been wounded, and thousands made homeless. On the Israeli side, 8 people have died from rockets fired from Gaza. The imbalance in casualties reflects the vast gap in weaponry between the two sides. The Israelis are carrying out air strikes with impunity on densely populated civilian neighbourhoods... More>>

 

Budget 2021: Boosts Carbon Neutral Government Commitment

· Budget 2021 delivers $67.4 million to support the transition to a carbon neutral public sector by 2025 · State Sector Decarbonisation Fund receives significant boost to support more schools, hospitals and other government organisations to replace ... More>>

Government: To Rev Up Reductions In Transport Emissions

The Government is calling for feedback on a range of potential policies to eliminate emissions in the transport sector. Transport Minister Michael Wood today released Hīkina te Kohupara – Kia mauri ora ai te iwi - Transport Emissions: Pathways to ... More>>

KiwiSaver: Default Provider Scheme Improvements Slash Fees, Boosts Savings

Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders will be significantly better off in retirement following changes to the default KiwiSaver scheme, Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark said today. More>>

ALSO:

Child Poverty: Reports Highlight Need For Ongoing Action

The Government has released the first Annual Report for the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy and the second Child Poverty Related Indicators (CPRI) Report, both of which highlight improvements in the lives of children as a result of actions of the Government, ... More>>

ALSO:

PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Parliament: Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer

Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels