Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Imminent closure of squid fishery

Imminent closure of squid fishery

The imminent closure of the Auckland Islands squid fishery after a report that it has killed over 100 sea lions this year highlights the need for the fishery to change its fishing method, according to Forest and Bird.

“This is the second year when over 100 sea lions have been drowned in the fishery,” Forest and Bird Senior Researcher, Barry Weeber said. “Because of inadequate reporting arrangements the actual sea lion deaths could be double the official figures.”

“We urge the Minister of Fisheries to look at alternative fishing methods for the Auckland Islands squid fishery,” said Mr. Weeber. “Sea lion deaths would drop to virtually zero if the Minister required the squid fishers to use jiggers”.

“It’s about time that the Government took action. There’s no excuse for the annual sea lion slaughter.”

“New Zealand fishers have previously jigged for squid around the Auckland Islands. Jiggers are used in the squid fishery around the Falkland Islands. What is needed is an incentive for fishers in New Zealand waters to use jiggers. A ban on trawling would do that.”

“It is time for the Minister of Fisheries to stop putting the interests of foreign trawlers ahead of New Zealand’s only endemic threatened sea lion,” Mr Weeber said.

New Zealand sea lions are protected under the Marine Mammals Protection Act. However a special exemption under the Act has allowed the fishing industry to kill sea lions in the course of fishing.

An extended marine mammal sanctuary around the Auckland Islands combined with jigging would safeguard threatened New Zealand sea lions without preventing squid fishing. This would be consistent with the World Heritage status of these islands and their surrounding territorial seas.



1. The fishery is managed on the basis of the number of sea lions drowned per squid tow. The Minister of Fisheries has agreed to a rate of 5.3 deaths per hundred tows, but the rate has been over 11 deaths per hundred tows when the fishery was 100 percent observed.

2. Over 85 percent of the squid trawl catch is taken by foreign trawlers from Korea, Russia, Ukraine, Poland and Japan chartered to New Zealand companies.

3. New Zealand sea lions can dive to over 550 metres and they are the deepest diving of all fur seals and sea lions.

3. 90 percent of this sea lion population breed on the Auckland Islands which is a World Heritage Area. The main rookery is on Dundas Island which is the size of two football fields. Around 2500 pups are produced each year from a mature population of around 7000.

3. The sea lion population has declined by over 20 percent in the last 5 years after reaching a peak in pup numbers in 1997-98.

4. Jiggers are a standard fishing method to catch squid which rely on bright lights, jigging machines and multi-barbed hooks. This method does not catch sea lions.

5. Sea lions used to range all around New Zealand, breeding near Nelson and in the far north but are now restricted to sub-Antarctic Islands.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news