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

New Reports: Flood Risk From Rain And Sea Under Climate Change

One report looks at what would happen when rivers are flooded by heavy rain and storms, while the other examines flooding exposure in coastal and harbour areas and how that might change with sea-level rise.

Their findings show that across the country almost 700,000 people and 411,516 buildings worth $135 billion are presently exposed to river flooding in the event of extreme weather events...

There is near certainty that the sea will rise 20-30 cm by 2040. By the end of the century, depending on whether global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, it could rise by between 0.5 to 1.1 m, which could add an additional 116,000 people exposed to extreme coastal storm flooding. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Commerce Commission Fuel Report

The interim Commerce Commission report on the fuel industry will do nothing to endear the major oil companies to the New Zealand public... More>>


Emergency Govt Bill: Overriding Local Licensing For The Rugby

“It’s pretty clear some clubs are having difficulty persuading their district licensing committees to grant a special licence to extend their hours for this obviously special event, and so it makes sense for Parliament to allow clubs to meet a community desire." More>>


Leaving Contract Early: KiwiBuild Programme Losing Another Top Boss

Ms O'Sullivan began a six-month contract as head of KiwiBuild Commercial in February, but the Housing Ministry has confirmed she has resigned and will depart a month early to take up a new job. More>>


Proposed National Policy Statement: Helping Our Cities Grow Up And Out

“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections. We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land." More>>


Ombudsman's Report: Ngāpuhi Elder 'Shocked' By Conditions At Ngawha Prison

A prominent Ngāpuhi elder is shocked to find inmates at Ngawha Prison are denied water and forced to relieve themselves in the exercise yard... Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a report highly critical of conditions at the Northland prison. More>>


Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>


School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>


IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>


Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>




InfoPages News Channels