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Death of endangered sea lion shows need for Govt action

Death of endangered sea lion shows need for Govt action

The Green Party is calling on the Government to re-evaluate its squid fishery management following news that a second endangered sea lion has died in a squid fishing net this year.

“Why is the Government still allowing endangered sea lions to legally be killed in fishing nets?” asked Green Party oceans spokesperson Gareth Hughes.

“The Government doesn’t allow hunters to accidentally kill kakapo or great spotted kiwi, and it doesn’t have to allow the squid fishery to kill any of our critically endangered New Zealand sea lions either.

“The Government has been sitting on its hands, allowing sea lions to die in squid fishing nets, while sea lion-friendly fishing options exit.”

Jigging a squid fishing method that uses hooks, rather than nets doesn’t pose much risk to sea lions.

“The Government has also been refusing to announce the sea lion pup count for the Auckland Islands, the New Zealand sea lions’ main breeding ground,” said Mr Hughes.

“I’m calling on the Government to release the pup count data.

“In 2012, the Government promised to review the squid management regime if the pup count around the Auckland Islands fell below 1501.

“The Government must be honest with the public about the number of sea lion pups born in the Auckland Islands, and then take responsibility for implementing policies that will protect them and turn around sea lion population decline.”

Reference:
Government promised a review of squid fisheries management if a pup count of fewer than 1501 on the Auckland Islands was determined: http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/squid-fishery-decision-reflects-new-research

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