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Speculation about sea lion mortality well off mark

Speculation about sea lion mortality well off the mark

2 September 2004

Suggestions that the Ministry of Fisheries is proposing a substantial increase in the fishing-related mortality limit for sea lions in the southern squid fishery are totally wrong, says communications manager, Alan Meek.

The Ministry's proposals for the 2004-2005 sea lion operational plan in the squid fishery are being finalised and will be released for stakeholder consultation within the next few days.

Although NIWA research has demonstrated that up to 598 sea lions could be taken without threatening the sustainability of the sea lion population, the Ministry will not be recommending to the Minister that such a high mortality rate would be appropriate.

The Ministry currently anticipates that the allowable bycatch limit will be in the range of last season's mortality, which was 118.

Ends

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