From Wildlife Extra:
Squid fishing threatens New Zealand’s sea lions with extinction
Call for action as numbers drop below 10,000
June 2010: Independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird is calling New Zealand’s government to take greater steps to protect the country’s sea lions after the recent announcement that sea lions are in danger of becoming extinct there. New Zealand sea lions now have the Department of Conservation’s highest endangered ranking – ‘nationally critical’.
‘They are now in the same category as kakapo and Maui’s dolphins,’ Forest & Bird Conservation Advocate Nicola Vallance says.
‘It is astonishing that the Minister of Fisheries has allowed 76 sea lions to be killed in this year’s squid fishing season around the sub-Antarctic islands where sea lions breed. So far 40 sea lions are estimated to have been killed in squid fishing nets, and the season is not yet over,’ Ms Vallance says.
We wouldn’t allow industry to kill kakapo
‘We wouldn’t allow 76 kakapo to be killed by an industry. One sea lion death in a squid net is too many for a species that is heading at breakneck speed towards extinction. In the International Year of Biodiversity, the Government should be making even greater efforts to protect our native creatures.’
DOC raised the threat status of sea lions during its review of marine mammals. There has been a sharp decline in sea lion pups born in recent summers, and the total sea lion population has dropped to an estimated 9,800.
‘Forest & Bird calls on Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley to cut the sea lion kill quota to zero for the next squid fishing season. The sea lion population would stand a better chance of recovering if the marine mammal sanctuary around the Auckland Islands was extended and if a sanctuary around Campbell Island was created. This would exclude trawlers from the main feeding grounds of the sea lions during this critical time each year but allow other fishing,’ Ms Vallance says.
New Zealand sea lions were once found around mainland New Zealand coasts but now breed in a few colonies on sub-Antarctic islands and a few individuals on Otago beaches. They have been classified as a threatened species since 1997. In 1998 the World Conservation Union (IUCN) elevated their threat status by listing them as being in decline.
Watch out for the sea lions when you’re on the Auckland Islands, warns Jim Eagles: here.
October 2010: Salmon farmers, retailers and animal welfare groups are joining forces to bring to a swift end the killing of problem seals at salmon farms: here.
Buller’s albatross: here.
International Anti-Sealing Day on March 15 will mark a ‘torturous’ day for Namibia’s exports and tourism if the country does not stop its annual seal cull, activists claim: here.
September 2011: Namibian fur seals are slaughtered in their thousands each year, but now a new economic study has confirmed the seals are worth three times as much alive rather than dead: here.
Antarctic fur seals breed where they were born: here.
More than 50 dead New Zealand fur seals washed up on a South Australian beach: here.
March 2011. New Zealand’s Maui’s dolphins finally got protection they so desperately need, with the announcement that fishing restrictions agreed in 2008 have been confirmed: here.
Another of the world’s rarest dolphins killed by a fishing net: here.
April 2011. A new index has been developed to help conservationists better understand how close species are to extinction. The index, developed by a team of Australian researchers from the University of Adelaide and James Cook University, is called SAFE (Species Ability to Forestall Extinction): here.
Seals could be listed as threatened species
on 04/12/2010 09:11:50
The US federal government proposed listing two seals that depend on sea ice as threatened species because of the projected loss of ice from climate warming.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will seek to list ringed seals found in the Arctic Basin and the North Atlantic and two populations of bearded seals in the Pacific Ocean as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
Ringed seals are the main prey of polar bears, which were listed as threatened by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in 2008.
For ringed seals, the proposed listing also cites the threat of reduced snow cover.
NOAA climate models were used to predict future sea ice conditions.
The Centre for Biological Diversity petitioned to list the seals in 2008 and later sued to force a decision on additional protections.
“We’re pleased that NOAA is following the science and the law in recognising the reality of what global warming is doing to the Arctic and its species,” said Brendan Cummings, an attorney for the Centre for Biological Diversity.
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