Seaweek fo­cuses on ocean, sealife health

The Tribune (NZ) - - ENVIRONMENT - All are wel­come to hear Wendi’s City Li­brary talk at 7.30pm, Ge­orge St en­trance. A. MCCLEL­LAND, MANAWATU FOR­EST & BIRD

At the end of Fe­bru­ary, New Zealand cel­e­brates Seaweek and, this year’s theme is

‘‘ Toiora te Moana – Toiora te

Tan­gata – Healthy Seas, Healthy Peo­ple’’, which re­minds us that we should do all we can to help the seas to be a healthy en­vi­ron­ment for all the ocean’s crea­tures.

Sadly, not all is well with our oceans. Ocean pol­lu­tion is largely caused by hu­mans and can lead to the death of an­i­mals, fish and plants. About 80 per cent of ocean pol­lu­tion starts on land then washes into the ocean, but ships, ocean drilling and deep sea min­ing all con­trib­ute to the prob­lem.

We all love to see dol­phins, or­cas, whales, seals and sea lions, ei­ther from the shore, or when we are on the wa­ter, but have you ever won­dered why marine mam­mals are found dead on New Zealand beaches?

A lot of re­search is be­ing done to find out why, and there are many known causes of death of the marine mam­mals, such as in­fec­tious dis­ease, in­jury and par­a­sites, but some are not known.

At Wild­base Pathol­ogy, Massey Univer­sity, re­search is be­ing done on pin­nipeds (seals & sea lions) and cetaceans (dol­phins & whales).

Wild­base Pathol­ogy pro­vides a di­ag­nos­tic ser­vice to DoC and other Wildlife con­ser­va­tion and man­age­ment in­sti­tu­tions.

This in­cludes post-mortem ex­am­i­na­tions of Hec­tor’s and Maui’s dol­phins and sea lions caught by com­mer­cial and recre­ational fish­eries.

They also pro­vide strate­gies for clin­i­cal care, wel­fare and post mortem ex­am­i­na­tion of stranded marine mam­mals and they iden­tify the dis­eases that may have con­trib­uted to their deaths.

On Tues­day, Fe­bru­ary 9, at Manawatu For­est and Bird’s monthly meet­ing, Dr Wendi Roe, se­nior lec­turer in Anatom­i­cal Pathol­ogy, In­sti­tute of Vet, An­i­mal & Biomed­i­cal Sci­ences at Massey, will talk about the causes of dis­ease and death in marine mam­mals.

PHOTO: AMELIE AUGE/SUP­PLIED

Wild­base staff satel­lite tag a healthy NZ sea lion on En­derby Is­land, part of the Auck­land Is­lands ar­chi­pel­ago.

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