Letters to The Islander | June 13

WHALE DAY: KI VH Dolphin Watch volunteers conducted a survey at North Cape on KI on June 5 for National Whale Day, spotting both common and bottlenose dolphins.
WHALE DAY: KI VH Dolphin Watch volunteers conducted a survey at North Cape on KI on June 5 for National Whale Day, spotting both common and bottlenose dolphins.

National Whale Day

In the lead up to World Oceans Day on June 8, KI Victor Harbor Dolphin Watch undertook a series of events to highlight both the marine environment and World Environment Day.

Unfortunately National Whale Day celebrations at Victor Harbor were restricted to a celebration lunch after postponing the research survey due to inclement weather. A small group of dedicated citizen science volunteers, including Victor Harbor mayor Moira Jenkins, and the Big Duck Boat Tours crew, enjoyed a delicious Hotel Victor lunch.

Stunning, clear conditions with no wind to speak of made the KI survey on World Environment Day, June 5, a delightful experience for all aboard Kangaroo Island Marine Adventures. No large whales were encountered but a pod of 20 bottlenose dolphins, including two young calves, resting and frolicking off North Cape made for brilliant observations.

Moving further offshore resulted in an exhilarating encounter with a number of frisky shortbeaked common dolphins. These beautiful, small, swift dolphins provided the highlight of the day with high energy aerial displays. After the survey the group met at Amadio's in Kingscote to debrief.

On both occasions, we thanked all volunteers over the years for their dedicated efforts in data collection assisting with conservation efforts. I reiterated the critical state of the highly endangered southern right whales in the region, whose population is estimated to have fallen to less than 300, making them the most highly endangered group of baleen whales in the world.

Tony Bartram, KI VH Dolphin Watch

A Super thought

From July 1, if you have not contributed to your superanuation account for 16 months or more, your Insurance Cover will cease. (Life & Total & Permanent Disability - TPD). Unless: You make a contribution, or you advise your Super Fund that you require your insurance cover to continue. You need to make an "Election" which are your instructions.

If your account balance is below $6000 and you have not made a contribution for 16 months, your account will be transferred to the Australian Taxation Office. If you have multiple accounts, consider consolidating them into one account. Your fund will shortly be in touch by either email or Australia Post, advising the above. Should you not have provided them with an email address, or have changed street address and not advised you fund, it's your responsibility. This is a summary only. Seek advice from your advisor or Super Fund.

Peter Murch, Kingscote

Premier meeting

Thank you for your article this week about the meeting between KI representatives and Premier Steven Marshall. They report, paraphrasing, that the Premier stated that 1. people objected to the Southern Ocean Lodge but no one is objecting now; therefore, it must be OK and 2. objectors are just difficult people who will go away after the development is done. Firstly, the Southern Ocean Lodge is on private land, and not on public land put aside by the people and the government for its biological values for the public and for the future. Secondly, many of the people against development in the pristine areas of Flinders Chase are unlikely to "go away" because they live on the island or they are involved in scientific and hands-on conservation work. Thirdly, they are not just difficult people. Those against the current location of the Australian Walking Company proposal consist of at least 31 different volunteer Friends of Parks groups from all areas of the state and 16 different organisations from the National Trust through to Landcare Groups representing many 1000s of people. I hope that the Minister for the Environment and Premier will come to realise that they are rapidly chewing through the volunteer goodwill, worth millions of dollars in volunteer hours toward biodiversity conservation.

Ann Prescott OAM, Adelaide