Media release: Climate Justice Taranaki questions the cause of Sperm Whale Death

28/05/2018

sperm whale Andy Jackson 28May18 stuff AW track mineral permits collageClimate Justice Taranaki calls for a full investigation on the possible causes of injury and death of the 12 sperm whale discovered along Kaupokonui Beach, South Taranaki, last weekend.

It is extremely upsetting whenever whale stranding and death occurs. We know it is very difficult to determine the causes of mass whale stranding and often there is no definitive answer. But with the increasing human activities in our oceans, we must ask the hard questions of whether we have caused or contributed to their demise. The Tasman Sea has been exceptionally hot this past summer, in places more than six degrees Celsius above normal, with cascading impacts on food webs.

There is also ample research that demonstrates direct and indirect harm on marine mammals from seismic testing. Here, we had the world’s largest seismic testing ship, the Amazon Warrior, blasting off Taranaki from north of Mokau to Whanganui for three months, till around the end of March. Could the seismic blasting have injured the whales, displaced them from their feeding grounds or weakened them by added stress?” Dr Lyndon DeVantier, member of Climate Justice Taranaki.

The whales’ bodies were reportedly too decomposed for necropsies, indicating that they likely died at sea en masse. We want a detailed investigation on the possible causes of the tragic death of the whales.

With the government’s recent decision of allowing existing petroleum exploration and mining permits to continue, there will be increased impacts on marine species and ecosystems from seismic blasting and drilling for oil and gas. The Malaysian based Tamarind Taranaki Ltd has already applied for permits to drill new side track wells at the Tui oil field and discharge harmful substances at sea. We encourage everyone who
cares about our marine environment and climate to submit to the EPA in opposition to Tamarind’s applications,” said Catherine Cheung, member of Climate Justice Taranaki.

Graphics: Photo of dead sperm whales at Kaupokonui Beach by Andy Jackson / Stuff 27May2018; Track of Amazon Warrior as of 24Jan2018; Mineral mining permits from NZPAM website.

Media coverage:

Whale stranding unites Taranaki hapu, Maori TV 28 May 2018

Climate Justice whale stranding story, Maori TV 29 May 2018

Harsh conditions for workers as another dead whale washes up, Taranaki Daily News 28 May 2018

‘Extremely unlikely’ seismic surveying linked to death of 12 sperm whales, Stuff national 29 May 2018

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Good news for the sea – mining consent refused

11/02/2015

“We are relieved thacprt the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has refused an application by Chatham Rock Phosphate Limited (CRP) for a marine consent to mine phosphorite nodules on the Chatham Rise” says member of Climate Justice Taranaki and submitter Urs Signer. Read the rest of this entry »


Three wins for the environment ahead of Christmas

13/12/2014

Court overturns Ruataniwha dam decision, backs green groups (TVNZ One News, 12 Dec)

Rejected iron sands mining company considers fresh bid (NZ Herald, 13 Dec) – Trans Tasman Resources (TTR)  “…has abandoned a High Court appeal against a decision rejecting its application to mine up to 50 million tonnes of black sand off the West Coast seabed.”  Well done KASM and all those who have spoken against the mining proposal!

Cuomo bans fracking in New York State (EcoWatch, 17 Dec)

Government sticks head in sand (TDN, 18 Dec) – while not strictly a win, such a critical editorial in Taranaki would not have been imaginable a year ago, is the tide turning?


MEDIA RELEASE: Celebrating EPA decision

18/06/2014

mining-protest“We are absolutely thrilled that the Environmental Protection Agency made the right decision and declined Trans-Tasman Resources’ marine consent application to mine the South Taranaki Bight for iron ore” says Urs Signer, member of Climate Justice Taranaki. Read the rest of this entry »


Media highlights (23-30 April 2014)

01/05/2014

US EPA study may soon impact fracking litigation  (Oil and Gas Investor, 30 April)  – “The study’s primary research questions focus on the following five stages of the “hydraulic fracturing water cycle” to evaluate potential impacts on the quality and quantity of drinking water…”

With no health registry, PA [Pennsylvania] doesn’t know the impact of fracking on health  (Public Source, 30 April)  -“Health departments in both New York and Maryland, which also lie atop the Marcellus Shale, are working on health studies. Those studies are funded by their respective state governments and their governors have refused to allow fracking until the studies are complete….While there is no state-funded health research of shale operations in Pennsylvania, there are some hospital initiatives, academic projects and smaller, community-centered health projects in the works….”

Le canton de Neuchatel vote un moratoire sur les forages d’hydrocarbures  (RTS, 30 April) The parliament of the district of Neuchatel (Switzerland) voted in favour of a 10 year drilling moratorium! British company Celtique Energie has wanted to start fracking in the Val-de-Travers. After a petition with over 10,000 signatures, the MPs voted 73 to 35 in favour of a moratorium.

Oil secrets stolen (TDN, 30 April)  – “Earlier this month, Cadenhead told the judge-only trial in the New Plymouth District Court that Watchorn deliberately targeted and downloaded seismic and geotechnical information from Tag’s server which revealed the highly successful methods used by his company to find oil and gas in Taranaki.”  Assuming such secrecy also bars governments from access to such information, how can regulators scrutinize the industry?

Close-up view of seabed mining hearings  (TDN, 29 April)

In landmark ruling, Jury says fracking company must pay $3 million to sickened family  (Think Progress, 23 April)

Work at wells pause  (TDN, 23 April) – “According to an Origin Energy spokesman, production at the company’s Rimu, Kauri and Manutahi well sites was suspended two weeks ago as part of a routine operational review. “


Media release: 99.5% of submissions oppose iron sand mining

06/03/2014

mining-protest“Of the 4706 submissions the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) received on Trans-Tasman Resources’ (TTR) plans to mine iron sand off the Taranaki coast, a staggering 99.5% of submitters opposed the application! Read the rest of this entry »


Council Candidates Questionnaire Responses

21/09/2013

Our councils hold a lot of power when it comes to deciding things like river protection, fossil fuel extraction and the sustainable (or not) future of our region. To help Taranaki residents decide who to vote for, we asked our 107 district and regional council candidates (less 3 who didn’t have email addresses) to answer 12 short questions. Many did not respond but those who did had very interesting answers which are encouraging to read. We would like to thank the 19 candidates who took the time to respond. Below are their quick responses to the first 7 questions. Long answers to all the 12 questions can be found in the PDF document at the bottom of this post.

New Plymouth District Council

NPDC Quick

Read the rest of this entry »