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Squid Fishers Support Minister

Media Release from the Deepwater Fisheries Stakeholder Group

Squid Fishers Support Minister's Science-Based Decision

11th April 2006

The Deepwater Stakeholder Group Ltd, which represents nearly all squid fishers in New Zealand, has voiced support for the Minister of Fisheries decision to raise the by-catch limit for sea lions by 53 for the rest of this season.

"We are keen to continue to take advantage of the very valuable squid resource and we're equally pleased that we can do so without even approaching a level where the sea lion population would be compromised," said executive officer Richard Cade.

The best available scientific information demonstrates that a limit of 555 sea lions could have been set this year, while not endangering the sea lion population. There is no need for it to be set that high - we support a realistic limit, Mr Cade said.

"The Minister's decision to allow utilisation of the valuable squid resource is sensible and very conservative in respect of the sea lion population. We are reassured that the Minister continues to make decisions based on good science."

"The Deepwater Stakeholder Group is committed to ongoing research and development to improve the SLED (Sea lion exclusion device) that are currently used by all vessels operating in the SQU6T fishery to ensure sea lions have every opportunity to escape from the net during squid operations," Mr Cade said.

ENDS

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