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


Exclusion devices required after sea lion deaths

Hon Dr Nick Smith
Minister of Conservation

Hon Nathan Guy
Minister for Primary Industries

5 September 2013

Exclusion devices required after sea lion deaths

Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith and Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy are requiring that all fishing vessels in the Southern Blue Whiting fishery around the Campbell Islands use Sea Lion Exclusion Devices after 16 New Zealand Sea Lion fatalities in the past three weeks.

“The fatality of 16 sea lions from fishing is unacceptable. We need to step up efforts to protect these endangered marine mammals. I am pleased the fishing industry has responded positively to the Government’s urgent request that Sea Lion Exclusion Devices be used by all vessels for the remainder of this fishing season. We have also asked officials to report on future options to better manage the interaction between the fishery and sea lions,” Dr Smith says.

“This level of fatalities is disappointing and out of step with the positive progress being made by the fishing industry in reducing sea lion by-catch,” Mr Guy says.

“This year we have 100 per cent MPI observer coverage on vessels in the Southern Blue Whiting fishery. There is also a 12 nautical mile trawling exclusion zone immediately around the Campbell Islands. I welcome agreement of the industry to use the exclusion device and their additional efforts to minimise the time trawl gear is able to be accessed by the sea lions to reduce the ongoing risks,” Mr Guy says.

The New Zealand Sea Lion is endemic to New Zealand and has an estimated population of between 10,000 and 12,000. About 80 per cent of the population live on the Auckland Islands and 20 per cent on the Campbell Islands. The species is listed as ‘vulnerable’ on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) red list and as ‘nationally critical’ on New Zealand’s Threat Classification System.

“The greatest historic risk to the New Zealand Sea Lion has been from squid fishing adjacent to Auckland Islands. We have made significant progress in addressing this with a management plan, limits on fatalities and the development of a Sea Lion Exclusion Device. This run of 16 fatalities in the Campbell Islands Southern Blue Whiting fishery is a backwards step and requires we increase our efforts to protect these sea lions,” Dr Smith says.

A Sea Lion Exclusion Device is fitted within trawling gear to prevent sea lions from being retained in the net and exits them through an escape hole. This innovative technology is new to the Southern Blue White fishery but offers the best hope of minimising sea lion fatalities.

“The risk to sea lions in the Southern Blue Whiting fishery has historically been small, averaging three fatalities per year over the past decade and zero in 2012. These 16 fatalities in the first three weeks of a six week fishing season is unprecedented. Industry and Government scientists need to work hard to understand why this is happening this season, and how it can be prevented in future,” Mr Guy says.

“We are requiring weekly reports on the fishery from officials. We are also asking officials to report on what other measures should be considered to ensure better protection for the sea lions,” the Ministers’ say.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Labour: Little Announces New Shadow Cabinet

“Labour had an impressive intake of fresh faces after last year’s election and newest MPs have now had a year to show what they’re made of. This reshuffle rewards hard work and continues my drive to renew our Caucus line up." More>>


Because Reasons: Someone Reckons David Seymour Is Politician Of The Year

Trans Tasman's 11th annual Roll Call has thrown a curve ball this year, ignoring the likes of John Key, Bill English, and Winston Peters to pick its politician of the year from the ranks of the new generation. More>>


Whaling: NZ Deeply Disappointed By Japan's Decision

“New Zealand is strongly opposed to whaling in the Southern Ocean. We call on Japan to take heed of the 2014 International Court of Justice decision and international scientific advice concerning their whaling activities.” More>>


Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



More RSS  RSS News AlertsNews Alerts
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news