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


Sea lion captures in the southern squid fishery

Media Release

Date: 13 February 2019

Sea lion captures in the southern squid fishery

Five New Zealand sea lions have been captured so far this season in the squid fishery around the Auckland Islands. The season runs from the end of December to May-June.

Director Fisheries Management Stuart Anderson says these captures are incredibly disappointing.

“Catching five sea lions this early in a season is unusual – by comparison, last season two sea lions were captured in the whole season, and the season before there were three captures,” Mr Anderson says.

The commercial southern squid trawl fishery (SQU6T) overlaps with the foraging range of sea lions that breed at the Auckland Islands, which can lead to the accidental capture of sea lions in fishing gear.

“A number of initiatives to protect these important animals are already place. All vessels fishing in the SQU6T fishery deploy Sea Lion Exclusion Devices which help sea lions that enter the net to escape instead of being trapped. Unfortunately, not all sea lions escape in time,” says Mr Anderson.

“Sea lion deaths have substantially reduced over the last decade since all squid trawlers have fitted approved Sea Lion Exclusion Devices in their nets. Prior to their introduction, there used to be an estimated 70-140 sea lion deaths per year in trawl nets.

“Fisheries New Zealand on-board observers, who have observed all fishing effort in the squid fishery this year noted that the vessels involved were complying with theOperational Plan to Manage the Incidental Capture of New Zealand sea lions in the Southern Squid Trawl Fishery.

“The vessels also correctly deployed Sea Lion Exclusion Devices at the time of the captures.

“There is more work to be done to reduce the impacts of fishing on sea lions, and we are always looking to improve the measures we have in place now to avoid interactions.

“Fisheries New Zealand will be consulting later this year on an updated Operational Plan for the SQU6T fishery.

“The new Plan will be based on updated scientific information including an update of the demographic population model for Auckland Islands sea lions, an improved method of estimating interactions between sea lions and squid fishing, and a new approach to estimating the efficacy of Sea Lion Exclusion Devices.

“It's important to note that fishing is just one of a number of threats sea lions are facing. The biggest threat is disease. We need to look at all the threats which is why Fisheries New Zealand and the Department of Conservation implemented the New Zealand Sea lion/rāpoka Threat Management Plan in 2017.

“Under the Threat Management Plan, a number of research projects are being undertaken to understand and manage threats such as disease, fishing interactions, nutritional stress, and sea lion pup mortalities resulting from pups falling into holes at some breeding sites.

“However, there is plenty more work to do. We don't just want the population to stabilise, we want it to thrive,” says Mr Anderson.

The Auckland islands, lying almost 500km south of the South Island, are home to the largest breeding colony of New Zealand sea lions, comprising roughly 70 per cent of the total sea lion population of over 12,000.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Government Confirms Royal Commission of Inquiry:

Friday: National Remembrance Service

A National Remembrance Service for the victims of the Christchurch mosques terrorist attack, and all those affected by it, will be held at 10am on Friday 29 March, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced. More>>

Ban On Military Style Semi-Automatics And Assault Rifles
Military style semi-automatics and assault rifles will be banned in New Zealand under stronger new gun laws... Related parts used to convert these guns into MSSAs are also being banned, along with all high-capacity magazines. “An amnesty will be put in place for weapons to be handed in, and Cabinet has directed officials to develop a buyback scheme...All semi-automatic weapons used during the terrorist attack on Friday 15 March will be banned." More>>

For the Latest: Scoop Search - Christchurch

Gordon Campbell: On The School Climate Strike

Locally, the school strike has won a ton of support for bringing climate change to the fore. Yet the strikers don't want mere expressions of support. They want action. More>>


"Grabbed And Struck In The Face": Greens Co-Leader Attacked While Walking To Work

Green Party co-leader James Shaw was the victim of an unprovoked attack when he was walking to work in Wellington. More>>


████████ ████ ███: Latest OIA Statistics Released

The latest statistics cover 110 agencies that collectively completed 18,106 official information requests between July and December 2018, a 16.4% increase on the 15,551 requests for the previous six months. More>>


'Hit And Run' Inquiry: New Legal Action Over Secrecy

The lawyer representing the Afghan villagers in the inquiry into Operation Burnham has launched legal proceedings calling for a judicial review in the investigation. More>>


From Hydro Plan To...: Mokihinui River Land To Join Kahurangi National Park

A total of 64,400 hectares of conservation land in the Mokihinui River catchment on the West Coast north of Westport, including 15 km of riverbed, is being added to Kahurangi National Park. “Adding this area, roughly half the size of Auckland City, to Kahurangi is the largest addition of land to an existing national park in New Zealand’s history,” Eugenie Sage said. More>>





InfoPages News Channels