Oil Leak 157 Cetacean protected areas

The other night we highlighted the boundary of the area protected for dolphins in the Cromarty Firth. On the other side of the planet, we read about the plight of Maui’s dolphin – critically endangered with only around 63 individuals left (see: http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/endangered_species/cetaceans/about/hectors_dolphin/mauis_dolphin/). It only occurs of New Zealand’s north island and is vulnerable to human disturbance such as through pollution and acoustic disturbance. A protected area was established in New Zealand, a dolphin sanctuary actually. The New Zealand government has just bowed to to pressure and allowed drilling for oil within approximately one third of the protected area (http://business.scoop.co.nz/2017/03/22/35-5-of-mauis-dolphin-sanctuary-opened-up-for-oil-drilling/). Now, I should highlight that we are not anti-oil – that is not what Cromarty Rising are about. However, drilling for oil in an area protected for a critically endangered species – I’m sure that there will not be many who can see that is at best somewhat questionable and at worst completely outrageous. Here we are in the Cromarty Firth planning to undertaken a potentially risky industrial process, on the cheap in the middle of our own protected area. Have we made our point? Shame on the government of New Zealand and shame on the Cromarty Firth Port Authority.