MV Duke on its way

00:20, Jan 24 2014

The seismic survey vessel the MV Duke was to leave Wellington today on its way to the Pegasus Basin, despite claims from Anadarko earlier in the week that no date had been set for seismic testing off the Kaikoura coast.

Anadarko's corporate affairs manager Alan Seay said on he could not confirm a starting date.

On Wednesday, a notice to mariners from Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) said the window of potential operation was between January 25 and March 20.

The surveying will be carried out over a period of 42 days.

Mr Seay said yesterday bad weather and other factors could prevent the vessel from arriving on a certain day, so he had been unable to confirm a specific date.

Concerns have been expressed in Kaikoura around the effects of the seismic testing on marine mammals, as it is widely agreed that there would be a degree of harm.

Marine expert and zoologist Dr Liz Slooten said sound waves used in surveying can conflict with the sonar frequencies used by whales.

The seismic vessel will have to adhere to the Department of Conservation's code of conduct, which includes having marine mammal observers on board


The Marlborough Express