sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Earthrace believes NZ dolphins at risk
Earthrace believes NZ dolphins at risk


'Dead Hectors dolphins courtesy of DOC'    © Otago University

Pete Bethune and Earthrace New Zealand not long ago received information regarding vessels fishing in a manner that is very likely to lead to already critically endangered Hector’s dolphins (endemic to South Island New Zealand) being killed in fishing nets in the Banks Peninsula Marine Mammal Sanctuary.

Current estimates are that only around 1,000 of the dolphins remain in this area – between 7-10% of the total population remaining.

As a result of the information received, covert surveillance by plane, motor boat, as well as up to 30km in kayaks, during the day and at night was carried out from 3–13 January 2013.

The local Hector’s dolphin population ranges from close to shore including within harbours, to 20 nautical miles (nm) offshore. They are found regularly in waters up to 100m in depth.

By comparison, the Sanctuary, which includes both Lyttleton and Akaroa Harbours, only extends out to 12 nautical miles (nm), whilst Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) regulations for fisheries currently allows gill netting to within 4nm from the coast, and to within 2nm for trawlers, taking no account of the depth factor.



'Current range of fishing limits useless'

Bethune says, 'Although not in such dire straits as North Island’s endemic Maui’s dolphin population (a sub-species of Hector’s with only an estimated 50 remaining), this population of Hector’s is rapidly heading in the same direction towards extinction due to unsustainable by catch in fishing nets and a lack of any effective response to the threat by the New Zealand Government.

'The surveillance by Earthrace clearly proves that the Sanctuary needs to be extended much further offshore to take into account the depth as well as the distance that Hector’s travel, and only fishing methods that don’t kill dolphins should be used inside it'.

Dead Hectors -  Liz Slooten, Otago University  


According to Dr Liz Slooten, New Zealand's leading researcher on Hectors Dolphins, scientific surveys and observers on fishing boats regularly detect dolphin out to 20 nautical miles offshore around Banks Peninsula, well outside the current sanctuary (12 nm) and the current ‘protected’ areas for gillnet (4nm) and trawl fisheries (2nm).

Slooten says, 'It really depends on the depth. As a general rule, they won't go much past 100m in water depth. The distance offshore with depths of 100m ranges from 6nm off the west coast of the South Island to 20nm offshore around Banks Peninsula. The 4nm exclusion zone for gillnets and 2nm for trawling are completely insufficient to protect these dolphins'.

The solution

Based on the surveillance, Earthrace is demanding that the Department of Conservation (DOC) and MPI implement a new Hector’s and Maui’s Threat Management Plan to include:

• Exclusion areas for gill netters and trawlers must be immediately introduced in all areas where these species exist in waters up to 100m deep, and up to 20nm from coastline

• The number of fisheries inspectors and fisheries inspections within all marine mammal sanctuaries in New Zealand where both species of critically endangered dolphin exist must be increased

• Fisheries inspections must include those carried out at night.

Male Hector Dolphin -  Liz Slooten, Otago University  


Earthrace Surveillance Report

Multiple vessels were observed by Bethune and his team well within the Sanctuary fishing right on the limits of the zone.

Commercial vessels were sighted gill netting and trawling within the Sanctuary, both methods that kill dolphins. During the day, these fishing vessels avoid the area closed to gillnetting and trawling (aside from entering and exiting harbors), although many were observed fishing and trawling right on the limits of the Sanctuary during daylight hours.

Gill nets

One gill net vessel was observed fishing outside the four nautical mile area during the day, but was observed passing into the protected area once night fell. The vessel was followed from approximately 3.5nm out to 4.2nm as the gill nets were being pulled in.

This raises two issues. Firstly, it appeared to be fishing illegally inside the protected area. Secondly, even while outside the protected area, it is highly likely this vessel would still be catching dolphins.

Hector’s were spotted by Earthrace on multiple occasions nearby the vessel while it was gill netting, and there is a high risk that some of these will be caught in nets. This is an accident waiting to happen until dolphin protection is improved.

Trawling

Trawlers were seen fishing within the sanctuary throughout the night, and on multiple days. After dark, on different days, pairs of trawlers ventured within the 2nm exclusion zone.

On one occasion, there were Hector’s dolphins around the kayak as two trawlers passed within 200 metres of the Earthrace observers right on the 2nm limit.

The two vessels were extremely close together and Earthrace observers suspect that they might have been ‘pair-trawling’ which is illegal. Pair trawling involves two boats towing one net between them. This makes it possible to trawl faster, and nets are usually larger, which means a higher risk for dolphins.

Trawler hauling and Hectors -  Liz Slooten, Otago University  


On this particular occasion, on approaching the pair of trawlers in a second observation vessel – a motor boat - both trawlers exited the area at high speed, with one skipper hiding from the Earthrace cameras behind a door.

Night time observers needed

Official observers have only been placed on trawlers fishing during the day within this area, and then only on less than 3% of the total trawler fishing days. Despite several reports of Hector’s dolphins caught by trawlers – including observed vessels – MPI have failed to put in place an adequate observer programme for trawl fisheries.

Scientists from NIWA and Otago University estimate that gillnets kill 23 Hector’s dolphins each year off the east coast of the South Island, with a similar number caught in trawl nets.

It is rarely if ever that observers are placed on board fishing vessels at night, despite previous evidence and the evidence observed by Earthrace during this surveillance that it is highly likely that trawling at night does catch dolphins.

Fines high so reports of by catch are rare
Pete Bethune explains that his brother, an ex-commercial fisherman, worked on a vessel that caught numerous Hector’s dolphins, and none were ever reported to DOC or MPI, as required under the law.

According to him, the industry is cloaked in secrecy over these dolphins. Bethune said, 'If you gill net in an area where they are prevalent, you will definitely catch them, but because your livelihood depends on continuing to fish in such areas, and the fines for by catch are so high, you never report them to officials.

'My brother has been on board a vessel that caught five dolphins in one day that were thrown back dead and not reported. The skipper is hardly going to home and tell his missus about it, let alone tell MPI (Ministry for Primary Industries) officials who may determine in the future where he can and cannot fish'.

'The gill netters and trawlers we observed turn the Marine Mammal sanctuary into a joke', continues Bethune. 'It is not a sanctuary at all when we allow trawlers and gill netters to pass throughout the dolphins’ natural domain. The area itself is woefully small. Research shows the dolphin extending out to 20 nautical miles off shore, and yet we allow gill netters in to four nautical miles and trawlers in to two nautical miles.

'Our government sat back and watched Maui’s dolphin numbers drop to a level where their extinction now appears highly likely. Hector’s dolphins are heading the same way unless we halt their capture by gill netters and trawlers right now. One has to ask whether New Zealand’s commercial fishing interests4 are being prioritised over the extinction of our few remaining endemic dolphins.'

Earthrace Conservation has passed the observation information from its surveillance, and the names of the vessels observed, to MPI and asked them to seize the GPS tracking data to verify observations of the gill net vessel and the trawlers fishing illegally within the four nautical mile exclusion zone with a view to imminent prosecution.

Earthrace Conservation offical website


by Earth Race Conservation

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=106637

6:44 PM Sat 16 Feb 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







News - USA and the World

The fast southeast sailing continues in the Volvo Ocean Race but where excitement and adrenaline began—discomfort has taken over. We’re seeing an average of about 25 knots of wind but the sea state is making life somewhat miserable! ... [more]  

Ensuring a safe fuel supply for America’s 12 million registered boat owners may have to wait, said Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that the agency will further delay the final rule on how much ethanol refiners must blend into the nation’s gasoline supply under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). ... [more]  

Yates Cup: US supermaxi Rio100 wins first offshore race *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
The supermaxi Bakewell-White design, Rio100 (Manouch Moshayedi, USA) has won her first race, sailing in the Yates Cup. She finished at 7.30am on Saturday morning, followed by the Botin 80 Beau Geste 14 minutes later with the Volvo 70 Giacomo 67minutes later. ... [more]  

The wind continued to blow on day four of the Airwaves Noumea PWA Dream Cup to produce another action packed day in New Caledonia, as a further three races for the men and four races for the women were completed in 15-25 knot winds. By the end of the day Ben Van Der Steen headed to the top of the rankings after a near perfect display. ... [more]  

The Oman RC44 Cup delivered another challenging sailing day for the fleet competing in the final event of the 2014 Championship Tour. Consistency was hard to come by and no team managed to stay in the top half of the fleet in all three races. Team Aqua was the most consistent team of the day picking up 11-points, Nika and Charisma both added 12-points to their overall score. ... [more]  

To summarize the last 24 hours of the Volvo Ocean Race in one word: change. The weather, the water, the sails, and our bodies are all equally (and rapidly) changing. The first full day at sea, we have experienced what some trips see in a week—if they’re lucky enough. However, that said, change can also be frustrating. ... [more]  

A new and exciting Viper 640 European Event in 2015 has been announced by Rondar Boats Ltd. Lake Garda is one of the great sailing venues and already there are signed up entries from the UK and Australia, with potential entries from the USA. It’s a serious sailing regatta and Italian holiday in one event! ... [more]  

On Monday 17 November, an impressive line-up of speakers at 13th International Sailing Summit shared ideas and best practice from around the world, demonstrating how the sailing industry can change to increase and retain participation, through innovation, technology and cultural changes. British Cycling has seen its membership grow by 567% since 2005. ... [more]  

GC32 Racing Tour: State-of-the-art in catamaran design, the GC32 is attracting considerable interest due to its conceptual similarity to the AC72 and AC62 foiling catamarans pioneered in the America’s Cup. However as the GC32s are smaller one designs with soft sail rigs, they provide both professional teams and private owners with the opportunity to experience airborne catamaran racing. ... [more]  

Designed primarily for single-handed or double-handed racing, the high-performance monohulls have also been a fixture in such East Coast distance races as Newport-to-Bermuda and Marblehead-to-Halifax. Now the Class 40 is coming to the historic Annapolis-to-Newport Race for the first time. ... [more]  

Spectacular performance by Bakewell-White maxi early in first race *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
The revamped Bakewell-White supermaxi, Rio 100 (Manouch Moshayedi) turned in an impressive performance in the opening stages of the Yates Cup. Sailing against a variety of benchmarks which included a a Volvo 70, a Botin 80 and an ORMA 60, Rio 100 came from behind to enjoy an impressive lead over the monohulls after 90 minutes of sailing. ... [more]  

As promised the wind arrived on the third day of the Airwaves Noumea PWA Dream Cup to provide an enthralling day of challenging racing in winds ranging from 10-25 knots. After almost seven hours of racing three eliminations have been completed for the men, whilst four races have been completed for the women. ... [more]  

America's Cup: Team New Zealand responds to Venue rumours *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Emirates Team New Zealand has responded to reports published in Bermuda and mainland USA, that Bermuda has been selected as venue for the 35th America's Cup. In a media release sent mid-afternoon, New Zealand time, Emirates Team NZ CEO Grant Dalton said in response to unconfirmed reports that Bermuda had won the right to host the 35th America’s Cup, that the team had not been told of a decision ... [more]  

Amidst a 10% growth report on having issued over 9000 certificates worldwide in 2014, the recent Annual General Meeting of the Offshore Racing Congress is pleased to announces numerous improvements approved for use in the ORC Rules and policies for 2015. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Leg 2. Team Alvimedica’s OBR Amory Ross reports on the Leg 2 start and progress. Well, now we know what it feels like to be shot from of a cannon! That was utter insanity. When the gun went I think there was almost no wind at all—two knots or something—but as we slowly crept out from under the shadow of Table Mountain it changed drastically. ... [more]  

The start of Leg 2 offered all the wind conditions you could want. I will not lie: I was pretty nervous to begin leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race (Mom called it ‘Stage Fright’); I think the whole team was pretty nervous. Here we are, having confidently completed the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race—after 27 days at sea! ... [more]  

The ISAF Sailing World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates is set to be 'an experience of a lifetime' according to American Women's 470 sailor Briana Provancha. Some of the world’s top Men’s and Women’s 470 teams will make up the individual fleets with some excellent racing on the cards. ... [more]  

After finishing third in the annual RC44 match race championships, Team Nika seem to have got a taste for the podium. It was a tough day on the water for the start of fleet racing at the RC44 Oman Cup, with many teams struggling for consistency. ... [more]  

St Barth Cata Cup 2014 - Game on! by Dominique Ladouceur
The boats are ready and the sailors have all had a chance to test their catamarans in a very rigorous St-John Bay. The conditions will be windy at the start of this seventh edition of the St-Barth Cata Cup. Sailors will be facing winds from the west at 18 knots with gusts at 22 knots on the first race day. ... [more]  

While more modifications are being mooted for the champion supermaxi yacht Wild Oats XI as part of her preparation for next month’s Rolex Sydney Hobart yacht race, a high-profile new member of the team was revealed on Sydney Harbour today. ... [more]  

Wild Oats XI and Audi are ready to give the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart a shot! Photos by Andrea Francolini. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Meek's tips pay dividend in Leg 2 squalls and calms *Feature by Bob Fisher, Cape Town, South Africa
The seven competing boats in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-2015 roughly gathered at 6pm local time (1600 Zulu) in a south-easterly wind that peaked at 30-40 knots, which had the local habit of dying away to nothing in places along the shoreline in the lee of Table Mountain. The clever skippers has sought advice from Geoff Meek, a local with a mass of experience ... [more]  

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (ADOR), the Emirate’s entry into the Volvo Ocean Race 2014–15, cast off on the next leg of the epic, round-the-world race on Wednesday evening hoping to complete a hat-trick of victories in the best place possible – the team’s home port of Abu Dhabi. ... [more]  

The waiting game continued on day two of the Airwaves Noumea Dream Cup PWA event, but the competitors’ patience wasn’t rewarded on this occasion as the wind remained too light for racing. A few sailors were tempted out onto the water, but apart from a few reaches of sporadic planing, the wind wasn’t enough and soon dropped back after showing promise in the early afternoon. ... [more]  

Over 600 scientists gathered in Barcelona for the second International Ocean Research Conference have this evening named the skippers in the Barcelona World Race, the first and only double-handed, round the world regatta with no stops, as scientific agents during their upcoming circumnavigation of the globe, departing from the Catalan capital on December 31st. ... [more]  

Team Alvimedica set out on the 6,125 nautical mile race to Abu Dhabi today, as they sailed out of Cape Town at the start of Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race. After a brief lap of Table Bay, with the Turkish/American boat close to the lead, it was straight into battle. ... [more]  

Skippers of the seven boats in the Volvo Ocean Race fleet, which set out for the 6,125 nautical mile (nm) Leg 2 from Cape From the very start on Wednesday (1800 local/1600 UTC), the sailors were given a taste of things to come with gusts of up to 35 knots kicking up a procession of white-capped waves. It was a question of 'don't break your boat' as most opted for conservative sail choices, whil ... [more]  

An invigorated, rested and relatively relaxed crew on Team SCA led the Volvo Ocean Race fleet from Cape Town late this afternoon at the start Leg Two of the Volvo Ocean Race to Abu Dhabi. The 6,125-mile leg will provide a large variety of conditions and will require good seamanship and good navigational choices. ... [more]  

A whole host of Olympic heroes and World Champions will fight it out in the Nacra 17 at the inaugural ISAF Sailing World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates from 26-30 November 2014. The 17-boat Nacra 17 fleet features an abundance of Olympians with no less than 18 appearances stemming from Atlanta 1996 within the 17-boat fleet of 34 sailors. ... [more]  

The ISAF Sailing World Cup Final Finn fleet is made up of some exceptional talent with Great Britain's Ed Wright and Pieter Jan Postma (NED) coming in to Abu Dhabi, UAE with good form. Wright has been a permanent fixture on World Championship and ISAF Sailing World Cup podiums in recent years. ... [more]  

The RC44 Oman Cup opened with the season’s final day of match racing. Defending champions Team Aqua held a slim one-point lead over Synergy Russian Sailing Team who were fighting for the trophy they last won in 2012. Vladimir Prosikhin’s Team Nika started the day in third, with Hugues Lepic just two-points adrift in fourth and keen to get the French flag onto the podium. ... [more]  

Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race is underway. Catch ther replay here, if you missed the 90 minutes of racing action in Cape Town. The sailing is spectacular! ... [more]  

Visiting Cape Town was more than just a stopover in the Volvo Ocean Race for Team Alvimedica, but was an opportunity to really get to know the people and the culture of the 'mother city.' Take a look at how the team get involved while in Cape Town from meeting Archbishop Desmond Tutu to visiting heart surgery patients at the Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital. ... [more]  

15th Ambassadors Cup - Brazil claims victory
Route du Rhum - Alex Pella first ever Spanish skipper to finish first
SSL Finals 2014 - Star World Champion Stanjek to race with Olesen
ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne: Finn fight looming on Port Phillip
Rugby man appointed Chief Executive Officer of Yachting Australia
Welcome back: Congressional Cup Joins Alpari World Match Racing Tour
18ft Skiffs: Smeg's second Red-Line run down Sydney harbour in 40kts *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race: Start Wednesday - Cyclone season awaits Leg 2 fleet
Airwaves Noumea PWA Dream Cup - Opening day in New Caledonia
RORC Transatlantic Race - Competitive fleet ready to race
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 2 Media Conference - Full replay *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Vestas Wind ready to race
Volvo Ocean Race: Young sailors get behind ADOR ahead of Leg 2
18fters: Getting through the 'Death Zone' in a 35kt breeze *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race: Sam Davies speaks openly about the first leg *Feature
ISAF Sailing World Cup Final: Exciting 49er and 49erFX action expected
America's Cup: Significant changes made to Protocol, but issues remain *Feature
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - the 70th
Stoke Beer 18ft Skiff Auckland Champs: Knight Frank lead after 5 races
ISAF Sailing World Cup Final - RS:X elite Abu Dhabi bound
120 boat start line for Tasar Worlds in Busselton   
Melges 24 U.S. Nationals - Full Throttle team grabs their sixth title   
RC44 Oman Cup - Grand final showdown on the horizon   
Visit Doyle Sails New Zealand at METS 2014   
Top Kiwi Finn sailor debuts in the 2014 Star Sailors League Finals   
2014 Butler Cup - Shane Young wins match race regatta   
Adventures of a Sailor Girl: News and interviews from Nov 16 show *Feature   
2014 Melges 24 U.S. National Championship - Moon wind   
Australian 18ft Skiffs: 40kt winds cancel race but Witt sails + Video   
2014 Melges 24 US National Championship - Day 2 images by Joy Dunigan   
Volvo Ocean Race: Abu Dhabi are the Kings of Cape Town   
Volvo Ocean Race: In Port races do count *Feature   
Volvo Ocean Race: Abu Dhabi rules in Cape Town In Port Race   
Volvo Ocean Race - Tricky In-Port Race for Team Alvimedica   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team SCA third in Cape Town In-Port Race   
A Sailor's Dream Home in the beautiful Bay of Islands - Auction 22 Nov   
Volvo Ocean Race: Cape Town In Port Race video and Media Conference *Feature   
2014 Brazilian Championship - Day 2   
2014 U.S. Melges 24 National Championship - Long haul   
2014 - 15 Volvo Ocean Race - The thinking trio   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT