The confected coronavirus story about dolphins frolicking in Venice canals may have been debunked as fake news, but beachgoers on Waiheke were treated to a visit from a large pod when they came out of lockdown level four last week.

The pod made a whistle-stop tour around the island to the delight of onlookers. Calm seas and a reduction in noise on the water from boat engines has also drawn attention to the sound of fish work-ups around our shores, with large shoals of fish drawing close to the shoreline.

This has prompted speculation that the lockdown has had an impact on sea life in the Gulf. Niwa marine ecologist Dr Darren Parsons says he is aware of “quite a lot of talk” about more fish being close to shore, but says it would be hard to disentangle any changes in fish presence from seasonal fluctuations as we move from summer to winter.

Liza Hamilton

Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!

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