Badly injured dolphin prompts warning
Tue, 25 Sep 2012 4:39p.m.
A bottlenose dolphin has been badly injured after a strike from a boat’s propellers in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park, prompting a warning from the Department of Conservation to boaties in the area.
The dolphin was sighted by Massey University PhD student Sarah Dwyer last week, who noticed the dolphin’s large wound behind its dorsal fin as well as two smaller lacerations on its tail.
Ms Dwyer says the dolphin was swimming alongside one of its parents and moving noticeably slower because of the severity its injuries.
The dolphin has been observed by the university’s Coastal-Marine Research Group previously, and was spotted fit and well off Whangaparapara on Great Barrier Island just four weeks ago.
But DOC’s Warkworth and Great Barrier area manager Tim Brandenburg says dolphin-boat related injuries are avoidable.
“Small and large vessels can cause significant harm to marine mammals,” he says. “Last summer a common dolphin died as a result of receiving lethal spinal injuries after being struck by a jet ski.”
He says university research has highlighted the problems with dolphins and whales in the region.
“We now know that dolphins and Bryde’s whales that live in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park are vulnerable to being hit by boats and ships.”
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