Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Limit set for sea lion deaths in squid fishery

Tuesday 7 October 2003 Media Statement

Cautious limit set for sea lion deaths in squid fishery

Fisheries Minister Pete Hodgson has taken a conservative approach to setting the limit for New Zealand sea lion deaths in the southern squid trawl fishery this season.

This year the official number of sea lion deaths allowed before the fishery is closed will be 62, the lowest number recommended in advice to the Minister. The least conservative option would have allowed 124 deaths. Last year the limit was 70.

The New Zealand sea lion – formerly known as the Hooker's sea lion – is classified as a category B threatened species under the Marine Mammals Protection Act, meaning it is not immediately threatened with extinction but is potentially vulnerable to population decline.

The sea lions eat squid and are at risk of capture and drowning when they follow squid into trawl nets. Each year an operational plan for the squid fishery sets a maximum number of fishing-related sea lion deaths. The limit is aimed at allowing the population to grow and reach non-threatened status within 20 years.

Sea lion exclusion devices are being tested in the fishery to see whether they reliably expel sea lions from squid nets, alive and without serious injury. The standard device is a metal grid across the net which allows squid to pass through but deflects a sea lion through an escape hatch at the top of the net. Results of tests to date, although inconclusive, indicate that at least some sea lions survive ejection. Tests will continue this season on designated vessels carrying Ministry of Fisheries observers.

The actual number of sea lion deaths this year could exceed 62 if more testing is done of the exclusion devices, to provide better evidence on survivability to support future decisions on device use. The testing requires sea lions to be caught in cover nets after being expelled by the exclusion devices, so the effect of the impact with the device can be analysed by post-mortem. Sea lion deaths resulting from this testing on designated research vessels will not be counted in the tally that triggers closure of the fishery. A full research effort is expected to result in no more than 27 additional deaths.

When estimating the total number of sea lion deaths for the rest of the squid fleet this year, the ministry will assume on the basis of results so far that the use of approved exclusion devices reduces sea lion deaths by 20 percent. This assumption will apply to vessels carrying observers or alternative monitoring measures agreed with the ministry, such as video cameras.

"The long term interests of the industry require it to develop effective technologies and methods for avoiding sea lion deaths," Mr Hodgson said. "Cooperation and goodwill from all stakeholders in the squid fishery will ensure that conservation and sustainable fishing objectives can both be achieved."

The southern squid trawl fishery operates around the Auckland and Snares Islands, from February to April or May.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Zimbabwe: New Democracy, Or A False Dawn?

Gordon Campbell: Robert Mugabe = Hosni Mubarak. The current jubilation on the streets of Harare at the fall of Zimbabwe’s dictator Robert Mugabe is genuine, and one hates to be negative about the country’s future. Yet the situation is eerily similar to the scenes in Cairo in early 2011, when a popular uprising swept Hosni Mubarak from power in Egypt. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>

ALSO:

Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election