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.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Parliament Today:

Werewolf: The Defence Pretence

Last year, the world began spending more money on weapons again, for the first time since 2011... New Zealand belongs to a region – Asia and Oceania – where military spending rose sharply in 2015, by 5.4 per cent. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Not Crying Foul, Argentina

So a couple of guys found to be criminally liable of environmental pollution in Argentina lodge an application with the Overseas Investment Office… in order to buy some prime New Zealand rural land. Seems that their factory back home had carelessly and/or intentionally discharged toxic waste into the Lujan river. Bummer... More>>

ALSO:

Urban & Rural: $303m To Merge And Modernise New Zealand’s Fire Services

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne today announced funding of $303 million over five years to combine urban and rural fire services into one organisation from mid-2017. More>>

ALSO:

High Trust Regime: What Did The PM Tell His Lawyer About Foreign Trusts?

The Government stopped the IRD from reviewing New Zealand foreign trusts shortly after the Prime Minister’s lawyer wrote to the Revenue Minister claiming John Key had promised him the regime would not be changed. More>>

ALSO:

Road Crime: Wicked Campers Vans Classified As Objectionable

The definition of publication includes any "thing that has printed or impressed upon it, or otherwise shown upon it, 1 or more (or a combination of 1 or more) images, representations, signs, statements, or words", The Classification Office has previously classified such 'things' as billboards, t-shirts, and even a drink can. This is the first time the Classification Office has classified a vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

'When New' Repairs: Landmark EQC Settlement

The Earthquake Commission has cut a deal with 98 Canterbury homeowners that affirms the government entity's responsibility to repair earthquake-damaged property to a 'when new' state, as well as covering repairs for undamaged parts of a property and clarifying its position on cash settlement calculations. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Kiwirail’s Latest Stint In The Dogbox

The denigration of Kiwirail continues. The latest review (based on a 2014 assessment) of the options facing the company have enabled Kiwirail to be hung out to dry once again as a liability and burden on the taxpayer. More>>

ALSO:

Royal Society Report: Good Opportunities To Act Now On Climate Change

There are many actions New Zealand can and should take now to reduce the threat of climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy, a report released today by the Royal Society of New Zealand finds... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news