Ships are being asked to slow down for whales in the Hauraki Gulf.
Ports of Auckland will ask ships to slow down in and out of the harbour to save endangered whales in the Hauraki Gulf.
The gulf is home to fewer than 200 adult Bryde’s whales. On average about two a year are found dead, many from vessel-strike. Ports of Auckland will soon be asking visiting ships to slow to 10 knots in the gulf. If that doesn’t work, they could be forced to slow down.
Hauraki Gulf Forum chairman John Tregidga said lower speed drastically reduced whale deaths.
“Most ships are doing around 12 or 14 knots so we aren’t asking much.”
Tregidga was positive that the measures would work and be complied with by the shipping industry.
“We will monitor the speed of every ship coming in. If the shipping industry don’t reduce speed, and we continue to have two deaths a year, we will look at regulatory ways of reducing speed limits.”
That will cost time and money, and all for just a few whales.
In 17 years, 43 whale bodies had been recovered . Of those, 19 had been examined and 16 had died from vessel-strike.
Fully grown whales spent 90 per cent of their time within 12m of the water’s surface, making them particularly vulnerable.
Constantine encouraged boaties to report whale sightings to the port so ships could be advised.