Conservationist or hunter. Is there
such a difference?
In order to harvest the bounty of the sea we must
ensure not only the survival of the eco-system that is the
oceans but their proliferation. The removal of one small species
can change the balance of nature, we must take responsibility
for our actions and ensure no species is lost through any action
or inaction on our part.
Capt Bert Lee, Email:
SEA BIRD PROFILES SEA BIRD REPORTS
Enjoy with me some
of the more uncommon sights around Tolaga Bay
This New Zealand
fur seal was feeding about 5 miles offshore in 70 m of water
it was diving to the bottom and bringing up blind eels. It would
shake the slime of them by flicking them from side to side and
throwing them in the air before eating them. In the last couple
of years the number of these seals has increased greatly in this
area, before that it was rare to see one, now there are groups
of 30 or more on some of the small islands in winter.
This whale which
was about 8m in length circled the boat for about an hour while
we were anchored fishing. It often lifted it's eye out of the
water and looked at us from a distance of less the two meters
young bull Elephant Seal which spent several weeks around Tolaga
Bay in December 99-January 2000. It was friendly
to people but had an aversion to boats, it flopped on top of
one which was pulled up on the beach breaking the windscreen,
cabin and seats.
How would you explain that to your insurance company?
on the mud-flats of the Uawa River Tolaga Bay, a very occasional
took this photo several years ago north of Tokomaru Bay, I believe
it is an Erect crested penguin.
White Black oystercatcher
on the golf course at Tolaga Bay. There are two of these birds
around Tolaga each with a different flock of Black oystercatchers.
The East Cape is not only a top fishing spot but
a great place to observe a wide range of sea birds. An Israeli
ornithologist I took out counted 22 species of petrel, shearwater
and albatross in one day. As a fisherman of many years experience
I have come to know and enjoy the birds of the sea. The
bird-life here changes with the seasons as different species
migrate following their prefered temperature range. Over the
next months I will update this page with observations and photos
of the ever-changing birdlife. If you have an interest in
sea-birds I would like to hear from you and hopefully one day
take you out and show you the rich diversity we have here.
Bay Pelagic birds April 2005
Early in the month there were
quite a number of very hungry wilsons storm petrels around. It
is unusual to see many in a day and only when they are passing
on their migration south in spring and back north in autumn.
It is also unusual for them to approach the boat and stay close
but this season I was seeing up to 5 birds a day and some were
coming within a few feet of the boat picking up small scraps
from the surface.
The summer birds are in the process of moving on but as yet the
winter birds have not started to arrive. Water is still 18c but
is dropping with the series of southerly winds we have been getting.
The most prominent birds recently are bullers mollys, I counted
15 sitting behind the boat one day last week along with several
flesh-footed shearwaters a couple of black petrels a black-browed
molly and a wandering albatross. All this on a day when I read
in the local paper that these birds are on the brink of extinction
and that wanderers have a four metre wing span.. It would be
nice if those who write that stuff could occasionally get out
of their office and actually see the birds they write about,
but then I guess that experience and some real knowledge would
get in the way of a good sensational story.
Over the next month the remainder of the summer birds will move
on and slowly be replaced by cape pigeons, prions and grey faced
petrels, sooty shearwaters will go past on their migration and
so on to the colder winter weather.
Tolaga Bay East Cape Charters
long lines in NZ