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Consultation opens on proposed Bay of Islands marine mammal sanctuary


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https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/consultation-opens-proposed-bay-islands-marine-mammal-sanctuary

I've had a email in from an organisation asking for support to stop this. I'm struggling with why this organisation would want it stopped though. Note here I have not read the fine print and the devil will be in there for sure.

Or is it just me who likes Dolphins?

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50 minutes ago, dutyfree said:

I like Dolphins too.  Where is the actual consultation document?  Why would it not be linked to the bloody press release

It's not released until 12/April - will be open for 28 days once released. It will include the following restrictions:

For the Bay of Islands:

  • No swimming with marine mammals;
  • Vessels to maintain a 400m distance from marine mammals; and

Within the Bay of Islands:

  • Vessel speed to be restricted to 5 knots within two “marine mammal safe zones”.

 

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I’d support any proposal that helps dolphins thrive and eliminates any avoidable human practises. Are they saying boat habits in BOI are definitely harming the population? Is it stress or collisions or noise pollution? Is it commercial or private boats doing most harm? Or is it falling food source (fish) populations? In which case is it commercial or private?

Maybe the paper answers those Qs (haven’t had time to to read it)?

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What F23kwit wrote the https://boimms.co.nz/the-proposal

If approached stop vessel/idle/drop sails??never ever going to happen

Cape Brett to TikiTki rock maybe inside that line make it a 5knt zone but then that could become a safety issue depending on weather.

The  proposed area Motutua island to Roberton thought that would already be a 5knt zone due to proximity to shore.

Tapeka pt to Motukarui island no issue there being a 5knt zone.

Do not think that it is just a Boi problem,The issue may extend to most of the Hauraki Gulf.As the area from Pakatoa island to Cape Collville is my playground not often you see big pods ,most pods contain 10/12 doplhins. I would be looking at,mostly to late,the commercial purseing of surface fish,kahawai/pilchards/offshore tuna and water quaility testing needs to happen frequently.So much runoff entering water ways.

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Read the document so I can answer my own Qs now.

Yes it’s a combination of factors which they admit are not easy to quantify. But I recognise that dolphins were in the sea before high volumes of vessels and in the short time this has increased the dolphins have not learned how to respond the best. So lots of vessel activity seems to increase stimulation above normal levels with multiple bad side effects.

Food also an issue but that’s a different solution programme.

So yes you can argue the details about safe distances and speeds etc - which is presumably the point of the consultation exercise - but overall I agree it’s worth trying something new with vessel habits to see if it helps.

I don’t see much downside myself and only upside if it does help them recover in BOI.

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So when the Dolphins come over to my yacht and start scratching their backs on my rudder and playing in the pressure waves I am doing them harm?

Find it hard to believe, they seem pretty happy.

So when the Purse Seiners turn up and hoover up all the bait fish etc. that's not doing them any harm, taking away their food source to raise their young?

Haven't seen as may whales around the Bay last few years either. Food chain usually is what affects population levels, don't see much science to support these proposals.

If we all had to stop anytime a dolphin was within 400m going to make cruising and racing pretty much a non event up their.

Looking like looking for an easy option, good chance for uncle Dave at YNZ to make himself useful I think, hopefully a bit more effectively than before.

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What the report seems to say is that the presence of our boats causes more stimulation than normal. For sure if they come over and rub their backs they are probably enjoying it and no harm done per se. But then they go off and see another boat and the temptation is too great to resist so they repeat it. Instead of doing something more boring like resting.

A bit like humans being too easily tempted into stimulation when we should be resting eg too much blue-screens / phones / TV time causing poor sleep patterns and health problems. In the moment it seems pretty harmless but the cumulative effect can be harmful.

I am NOT not saying all the proposed actions / rules are right or palatable - but I am saying I can see how boats are unwittingly impacting on the dolphins and some kind of action might help. If that interrupts usage of the Bay then yes that might be a tough pill to swallow - in which case we should just admit we want to prioritise our own amenity over dolphins welfare. But that’s a different argument to say “we don’t harm them” because I can see that we might do.

And by “we” I don’t just mean us cruisers but yes I’m including the commercial guys and fishing as well. It’s obviously a complete problem with multiple causes and (therefore) potential remedies.

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Repercussions for yacht racing are pretty serious, it would basically be the end of any sailing regattas, including bay week in the greater bay area, and also the coastal classic would be hamstrung. Just imagine it, you come though the gap at Pearcy leading your division, find a dolphin, so you have to stop and drop sails, meanwhile your competitors sail 400m away and continue on their merry way

image.thumb.png.e2c7d954d3a3ec5990e95a49125a63a8.png

 

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I think the problem is that you guys are looking for exceptions to rubbish the whole idea instead of looking for a solution with ways to handle the exceptions.

So what if we assume that racing yachts are the minority of boats in the BOI and probably too busy racing anyway to be chasing & swimming with dolphins. So what if we say any boat in an organised race is exempt from the rule and carries on as normal.

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I found out why the organisation who alerted me wants to oppose the plan.

It's not they don't like Dolphins it's they think the requirement/penalties are bullshit and unworkable. From a quick suss I'd have to agree.

Fogg and family are happily sailing along on their trip and all of a sudden up roars a DOC fizz nasty. Of hops someone and hands Mr Fogg a fine for interfering with Dolphins. Mr Fogg is heard to utter 'WTF?, what Dolphins?'. DOC person shows photo of Dolphins with Fogg in the background, the 2 maybe within 400m of each other or maybe not, it is too hard to tell from the camera angle. Mr Fogg says to Judge 'Sorry but I never saw them and the photo looks to be more than 400m anyway, where is DOC's proof?'

Judge replies "DOC have to prove f*ck all, the laws say you are guilty unless you can prove DOC is wrong, can you?'.

That's what the organisation wants to oppose, I now understand and agree. Word is this will be a test case and if it gets thru there is a raft of other locations that will get the same treatment.

I love Dolphins and won't ever hurt one but FFS any laws to protect them can't be based on boats being guilty unless they can prove otherwise, that's nearly as bullshit as the green muppets plan to make all males rapists unless they can prove they aren't.

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6 minutes ago, Fogg said:

I think the problem is that you guys are looking for exceptions to rubbish the whole idea instead of looking for a solution with ways to handle the exceptions.

So what if we assume that racing yachts are the minority of boats in the BOI and probably too busy racing anyway to be chasing & swimming with dolphins. So what if we say any boat in an organised race is exempt from the rule and carries on as normal.

There is already the speed limit exemption in the upper Auckland harbour for race yachts, although that is not about protecting marine life.

I do agree that  having a unified consistent response to the consultation once it formally opens is the way forward. Hopefully everyone submits 👍

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30 minutes ago, KM... said:

I found out why the organisation who alerted me wants to oppose the plan.

It's not they don't like Dolphins it's they think the requirement/penalties are bullshit and unworkable. From a quick suss I'd have to agree.

Fogg and family are happily sailing along on their trip and all of a sudden up roars a DOC fizz nasty. Of hops someone and hands Mr Fogg a fine for interfering with Dolphins. Mr Fogg is heard to utter 'WTF?, what Dolphins?'. DOC person shows photo of Dolphins with Fogg in the background, the 2 maybe within 400m of each other or maybe not, it is too hard to tell from the camera angle. Mr Fogg says to Judge 'Sorry but I never saw them and the photo looks to be more than 400m anyway, where is DOC's proof?'

Judge replies "DOC have to prove f*ck all, the laws say you are guilty unless you can prove DOC is wrong, can you?'.

That's what the organisation wants to oppose, I now understand and agree. Word is this will be a test case and if it gets thru there is a raft of other locations that will get the same treatment.

I love Dolphins and won't ever hurt one but FFS any laws to protect them can't be based on boats being guilty unless they can prove otherwise, that's nearly as bullshit as the green muppets plan to make all males rapists unless they can prove they aren't.

I agree that would be an annoying situation especially if the burden of proof was on me to prove I was not within 400m etc.

But that seems v unlikely and most probably a made up scenario (designed by your emailing friends who want to oppose the rule) to scare people.

When did anyone last get approached by an officious official (is that when a phrase?) and ordered to pay a fine for the 5kts / 50m rule? It happens but it’s very rare. In fact most of us wish it happened more often.

So I have no reason to believe this rule would be policed any more over-zealously than other rules on the water. In fact probably the opposite - it would probably rely more on self-rule rather anything else.

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1 hour ago, KM... said:

Fogg and family are happily sailing along on their trip and all of a sudden up roars a DOC fizz nasty. Of hops someone and hands Mr Fogg a fine for interfering with Dolphins. Mr Fogg is heard to utter 'WTF?, what Dolphins?'. DOC person shows photo of Dolphins with Fogg in the background, the 2 maybe within 400m of each other or maybe not, it is too hard to tell from the camera angle. Mr Fogg says to Judge 'Sorry but I never saw them and the photo looks to be more than 400m anyway, where is DOC's proof?'

Judge replies "DOC have to prove f*ck all, the laws say you are guilty unless you can prove DOC is wrong, can you?'.

That's what the organisation wants to oppose, I now understand and agree. Word is this will be a test case and if it gets thru there is a raft of other locations that will get the same treatment.

 

The Marine Mammals Protection Act 1978 would be the legislation giving the government the power to enforce this. That is criminal legislation - the case would be heard in the district court where the burden of proof is on the prosecution, the standard being to beyond reasonable doubt

It would be 100% up to DoC to prove the distance. No onus on the Defendant at all.

On what basis do your friends have the idea of this reverse onus?

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