A dolphin feed probe farce

FALSE and outdated science has been used to wrongly discredit dolphin feeding at Tin Can Bay, feeding advocate Joe McLeod said yesterday.

He said the government's current review of dolphin feeding was tainted by false data, unsupported assumptions and the influence of extremists within the Department of Environment and Resource Management.

Mr McLeod said there was no apparent science behind many of the government's anti-feeding assumptions and its claims that feeding at Tin Can Bay was "unmanaged".

He said the feeding program had been government regulated since 1999.

And some claims, regarded as scientific, included one European publication describing people swimming with dolphins and even "fin-riding", things which did not occur these days.

Feeding at the Bay was part of a spontaneous and natural interaction which had been going on for thousands of years.

"We can trace a direct link from indigenous times, through the involvement of displaced Aboriginal people in the fishing industry, to the present," Mr McLeod said.

In contrast, the government's favoured program at Tangalooma was entirely artificial.

"They took years to establish dolphin feeding," he said. He convened a meeting of conservation, business and political interests on Tuesday at Barnacles cafe, near the Norman Point feeding site.

Reporting on a submission he was preparing for the review, he said there were many claims in government review documents which did not seem to have any scientific support.

"And all of them are against feeding," he said.

"Interaction with humans is genetically engraved into Bay dolphins. Snapper Creek is part of their natural feeding range."

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