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Photo: Deanna Elvines

One Less Threat to Marine Mammals

Today’s news that the government will not issue any further block offers for offshore oil and gas exploration has been welcomed by Project Jonah. The marine mammal welfare charity views this decision as a step forward for the survival of many threatened species in New Zealand’s waters.

“Our whales and dolphins face many different threats from human activities” said Daren Grover, Project Jonah’s General Manager. “While the current approved activities may continue, knowing that future activities won’t be approved is a huge step forward”.

Thanks to a world-leading code of conduct for seismic surveying in New Zealand, we rarely see the direct evidence of injuries to marine mammals from seismic surveying. However, it is the unseen and unmeasurable impacts on these animals – the disturbance in feeding, socialising or mating activities - that has always been our biggest concern.

“We applaud the government in finally giving the marine environment the focus it needs. We now look for similar bold decisions for the reduction and removal of single-use plastics, and greater regulation of the fishing industry”, said Grover.

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