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


New measures to protect endangered sea lions

12 August 2004

New measures to protect endangered sea lions

The Department of Conservation and the Ministry of Fisheries have set a new target to remove New Zealand sea lions from the endangered species list by 2025, Conservation Minister Chris Carter announced today.

"Fisheries Minister David Benson-Pope and I recently met with the leaders of the squid fishing industry where we reached agreement to work together to ensure that eventually, this unique New Zealand marine mammal is no longer on the endangered species list," Mr Carter said.

"Sea lions dive deep underwater when feeding and get caught in squid trawl nets. I am directing my Department to prepare a population management plan for sea lions that will set a maximum level of trawl net-related deaths," Mr Carter said.

"Currently there are only 12,000 to 14,000 New Zealand sea lions remaining and they are found near the subantarctic Auckland Islands. During the last fishing season, around 118 were estimated to have died in squid trawl nets."

While it is an offence under the Marine Mammal Protection Act to injure or kill New Zealand marine mammals, fisheries are exempt provided they meet the Act's reporting requirements.

DOC will develop an overall species management plan which will also examine non-fishing threats to sea lions, such as public interaction with the animals on the mainland and natural diseases. Also included in the plan would be research into the possibility of encouraging sea lions to form new breeding colonies. Measures such as these will help the sea lion population recover to non-threatened levels.

"In the development of the plan my Department will be consulting with Fisheries officials, the commercial fishing industry and with conservation organisations," Mr Carter said.

An interim operational plan will be put in place by DOC and the Ministry of Fisheries until the new plan is able to take effect in the 2005-2006 season.

Media Contact: Elizabeth Brown, Acting Press Secretary 04 470 6874, 021 844 888 Bernie Napp, Department of Conservation 04 471 3139

Background information on New Zealand sea lions

Only 12,000 to 14,000 Phocarctos hookeri remain, one of five sea lion species worldwide.

One of the world’s rarest seal/sea lion species, ranked as “vulnerable” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The species breeds almost exclusively on the Auckland Islands, 95 per cent of the total on Enderby and Dundas Islands.

Around 118 were estimated to have died in squid trawl nets during the last fishing season (1 February–7 July 2004).

Female sea lions appear to reach breeding maturity at six years. Each female may successfully pup every two to three years, with one female able to rear up to six pups in her lifetime.

Can dive deeper and longer than any other sea lion or fur seal. Most feeding is done in waters of 100-200m depth, with each dive lasting three to six minutes. Some sea lions have been recorded to dive down to more than 600m, in dives exceeding 12 minutes.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news