Greens say vote against dolphin protection ‘outrageous’

But what would it cost us?

via NZ Herald News.

If readers have knowledge of the effects of this measure on the local fishing industry, please get in touch. Here’s the entire Herald story (from APNZ):

New Zealand has voted against further protection measures for Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins at the world’s largest conservation summit in Jeju, Korea.

New Zealand was one of two countries to oppose further protection measures in a secret vote at the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s conference.

A vote was held on New Zealand banning gill and trawl nets in waters up to 100 metres deep – 117 countries and 459 organisations voted for the move.

New Zealand voted against, saying it was not backed by scientific evidence.

A Department of Conservation staff member told the congress the Ministry for Primary Industries had instructed it to vote that way.

DoC had not approved of the ministry’s dolphin protection measures.

Green MP Gareth Hughes alongside other political parties and environmental groups have called the vote “outrageous”.

“By voting against essential protection for the world’s most endangered marine dolphin, the New Zealand government has acted shamefully and can no longer claim to be leaders in conservation,” said Rebecca Bird, WWF’s Marine Programme Manager.

Sounds shameful, right?

But hang about – what’s it going to cost not to use gill nets or trawl nets in waters up to 328 feet deep? That’s deep! How much fishing is done in that depth of water? Is that all around the coast, or just certain places?

How many fishermen will be put out of business, how many boats sold with their owners slung onto the unemployment benefit? How much fish will have to be imported into one of the most bountiful and efficient countries in the world?

Of course, the Greens expect us to pay whatever it costs to save even 24 of these mammals – or however many there are that survive. If they believed in evolution, they would recognise the bleeding obvious – these marine mammals haven’t adapted to the present environment, or their population would not have collapsed.

We don’t know better than Mother Nature – so we should let these creatures go.

Anyway – the measure passed, didn’t it?

On the voting numbers, surely the measure was passed – was it, or wasn’t it? Will it have any force without New Zealand’s approval?

Shame on you, Gareth Hughes, you’ve slanted the picture – now tell us the whole truth.

And the Associated Press.

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9 Thoughts on “Greens say vote against dolphin protection ‘outrageous’

  1. Simon on 22/09/2012 at 8:49 pm said:

    What has this got to do with climate?
    10-15 years ago, every time I went surfing, kite-surfing, or windsurfing off the North Otago coast I would see Hector dolphins. I have not seen any in the last 5 years. Where have they gone? What has killed them?
    I thought there was already a ban on gill-net fishing close to shore. If there wasn’t the estimated by-catch would be 110-150 Hector dolphins p.a. out of a population of 7000 according to Wikipedia.

    • Andy on 22/09/2012 at 9:11 pm said:

      There are plenty of Hector’s dolphins off the coast of Canterbury. You can catch a boat on either Lyttelton or Akaroa harbour and you are almost guaranteed to see Hector’s dolphins

      As for Maui dolphins, I couldn’t comment

    • The dolphins are being protected by the same people protecting the climate, who bring to the task the same disregard of costs, since we will pay them. There’s a strong possibility they also bring the same disregard of scientific method.

    • Andy on 23/09/2012 at 4:28 pm said:

      As it happens I know the person at WWF behind this – Rebecca Bird is a friend of the family and has a masters degree in marine biology. I don’t think she is using an unscientific approach to her work.

      I don’t know enough about the specifics of this case to comment further. We do need to protect endangered species but we also need to consider the commercial implications for fishing.

    • Well, fancy that! What a great chance to find out more. Far be it from me to criticise work I’ve not seen by a person I’ve never met. However, it’s entirely possible that between contracted research and politicised report ideology takes over (being the WWF). I stress the need to engage in a cost-benefit analysis whenever it’s proposed that we attempt to “save” a dying species. This news report was notable for its lack of information.

    • Andy on 24/09/2012 at 9:25 am said:

      Of course it goes without saying that if an endangered or protected species were under threat from wind energy (such as the Tasmanian Wedge Tailed Eagle, or the Golden Eagle in the USA) you would hear absolutely nothing from the environmental lobby groups

  2. It seems Jo’s Nova’s wbsite has been hacked again. My own comment on this:

    I just visited Watssupwiththat, and it appears that Jo’s site has been hacked again. An interesting approach to debate; seek to shut down the voice of those who disagree with you……

  3. Clarence on 23/09/2012 at 6:01 pm said:

    According to Wikipedia, there are only 55 Maui dolphins, and they all live off the West coast of the North Island.

    In a secret vote at a conservationist convention, I would expect a 100% vote for anything that might sound like it could help that tiny tribe to prosper. Evacuate Taranaki? Sure. Declare New Zealand a marine reserve? Why not?

    What’s most disturbing about all this is that NZ’s own delegates would’ve cheerfully gone along with any measures anybody dreamed up – except that the adults got to hear about this caper, and put a dampener on it.

  4. Alexander K on 24/09/2012 at 10:48 am said:

    This affair brings to mind the problem that well-meaning environmental scientists caused in the very recent past by banding Penguins, so reducing the Penguins ability to swim freely by a tiny margin, resulting in large numbers of dead Penguins who could not swim at the level required to feed themselves. There is always a cost for any intervention by ‘conservationists’ and we need to know that cost before actions can be contemplated.
    I am all for the sensible conservation of marine life, dolphins included, but having been misled by ‘concerned environmentalists’ and their tame reporters in the past, I suspect the Herald’s report may not be entirely complete or truthful.

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