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Sealion Protection Grossly Inadequate

Media Release

20 April 2005

Sealion Protection Grossly Inadequate

The procrastination displayed by the Ministers of Fisheries and Conservation with regard to improving protection for New Zealand’s sea lions is nothing short of disgraceful, says New Zealand First’s conservation spokesman, Edwin Perry.

“The Minister of Fisheries allows 115 sea lion fatalities a year in the squid fishery before closing the squid season. So far this year more than 100 deaths have been reported.

“Questions to the Minister of Conservation as to what the Ministers intend to do about the unacceptably high number of deaths have resulted in abundant waffle but no definite action, says Mr Perry.

“Warm fuzzy phrases such as “entered into consultation”, “convened a workshop” and ”seeking an acceptable way forward” are no substitute for decision-making.

“There is no point in patting ourselves on the back and congratulating ourselves on being world leaders in the preservation of endangered species when out in the Auckland Islands sea lions are drowning in squid nets. Action is required of the Ministers of Fisheries and Conservation now,” said Mr Perry.

ENDS

13302 (2004). Edwin Perry to the Minister of Conservation (14 September 2004):
Does his Department have any intention of establishing a 20 km “no fishing” sanctuary around the Campbell Islands? Hon Chris Carter (Minister of Conservation) replied: Preliminary consideration is being given to the need for further protection of marine areas in the subantarctic, including around the Campbell Islands.

205 (2005). Edwin Perry to the Minister of Conservation (1 February 2005):
Further to his answer to question 13302 (2004), regarding the possible establishment of a 20 km “no fishing” sanctuary around the Campbell Islands, that preliminary consideration is being given to the need for further protection of marine areas in the sub Antarctic, including around the Campbell Islands, what conclusions have been reached? Hon Chris Carter (Minister of Conservation) replied: My department has entered into consultation with agencies and stakeholders with interests or responsibilities in the New Zealand sub-antarctics. A workshop was convened in November 2004 seeking an acceptable way forward to enhance marine protection around Campbell Island, the Antipodes and Bounty Islands. After further consultation with the commercial sector, the department will proceed to produce a discussion document investigating options for marine protection surrounding the islands.

04917 (2005) Edwin Perry to the Minister of Conservation (11 April 2005):
Further to his answer to question for written answer 205 (2005), has a discussion document been completed; if so, when will it be available to the public?

Hon Chris Carter (Minister of Conservation) replied: Work is still underway on this issue. It is intended that a public discussion document will be available within the next 12 months.

Date Received:19/04/2005

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