Before the end of the International Whaling Commission meeting, a decision was made. But it’s not all we could have hoped for, and not all that the IWC recommended. Let’s compare the decision made by David Carter (Minister for Primary Industry) with the International Whaling Commission’s recommendations.
The International Whaling Commission recommended:
- ✓ Immediate extension of North Island protected area south to Hawera, and
- X Offshore to the 100m depth contour
- X Including the harbours
- X Protection from gillnet (✓) and trawl (X) fisheries
- X Protection of the north coast of the South Island
- To provide ‘corridor’ between North and South Island
The Minister went along with the recommendation to extend the protected area south to Hawera, but ignored the Scientific Committee’s other four recommendations. This despite the fact that 24,448 public submissions wanted to see a tick for all of the recommendations above (i.e. protection extended offshore to the 100m water depth contour, including the harbours, protection from trawling as well a gillnet fisheries and want to see the north coast of the South Island included in the protected area). Only 31 of the submissions wanted no additional protection from Maui’s dolphins. And only 5 submissions asked for what the Minister finally decided. In other words, the Minister’s decision goes against the scientific advice and goes along with fewer than 1% of the public submissions.