Seismic Survey Protest in Taranaki waters
Yesterday on the waters off of White Cliffs in northern Taranaki, 8 protesters demonstrated against a seismic survey vessel operating in a Marine Mammal Sanctuary.
The group of west coast residents have grave concerns as to the effects on the critically endangered Maui’s Dolphin.
Spokesperson Phil McCabe of Raglan says, “We are in a Marine Mammal Sanctuary and with just 55 adult individual Maui’s left we need to be taking a wide berth and allowing these creatures the very best opportunity at recovery. Seismic surveying is an invasive and disruptive activity and can cause direct and indirect harm. This absolutely should not be happening in a sanctuary!”
Meanwhile the Department of Conservation and Ministry for Primary Industries are still to release the final Maui’s Threat Management Plan, which will outline the level of protection the Government will give the smallest and most rare dolphin in the world.
“We submitted to the Maui’s TMP back in November last year and a major concern for us and many other submitters was seismic surveying in and around their habitat. We should have had a decision by Christmas and seismic surveying has been occurring in their habitat since January. Direct protest is the only option left open for us to be heard,” says McCabe.
The group also has concerns around Government attempts to erode New Zealanders' rights to peacefully protest at sea.
“If this government rams through their ridiculous and undemocratic law, paving the way for big business to rip off our resources and wreck our environment, they should expect increased resistance from everyday New Zealanders,” says group member Anatonio Te Maioha.