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Moratorium on squid fishing needed

Moratorium on squid fishing needed to protect endangered sea lions

The Green Party is calling on the Government to adopt a precautionary approach and implement a moratorium on the use of trawl nets around the Auckland Islands following the release of information showing that the sea lion pup count has decreased 18 percent since last year.

“While the Green Party welcomes the Government’s move to create a Threat Management Plan for these endangered sea lions, the Government can move to protect these critically endangered animals immediately by preventing further deaths in trawling nets,” said Green Party oceans spokesperson Gareth Hughes.

“A review is needed, but won’t stop our precious sea lions being killed in trawl nets. The Government can act now to remove this threat.”

Two sea lions have already been killed in squid fishing nets this year.

“Why is the Government still allowing endangered sea lions to be legally killed in fishing nets?” said Mr Hughes.

“The Government doesn’t allow hunters to accidentally kill kakapo or kiwi; 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 exist.

“First Maui dolphins, now sea lions. National are failing to protect the species we love.”

Jigging a squid fishing method that uses hooks, rather than nets – poses lower risks to sea lions.


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