New Zealand sea lions threatened by money grabbing


This video is called New Zealand Sea Lions.

From Wildlife Extra:

New Zealand Government fails sea lions – Bows to fishing industry

Squid fishery decision won’t save sea lions

August 2012. Fishing restrictions announced by the New Zealand government will not halt the predicted slide of their nationally critical New Zealand sea lions to extinction within the next two decades, according to NZ conservation charity Forest & Bird.

“We are extremely disappointed that this decision ignores the latest internationally peer reviewed research showing that if current levels of by-catch continue, the Auckland Island New Zealand sea lion population will be functionally extinct by 2035,” Marine Conservation Advocate Katrina Subedar said.

68 bycatch deaths per year allowed

Primary Industries Minister David Carter announced that the maximum allowed number of accidental fishing related sea lion deaths for the 2012-13 fishing season would remain at 68. He said this limit would remain in effect until a review in four years, unless information shows fishing is causing a decline in the sea lion population.

40% decline since 1998

Katrina Subedar said urgent action is needed to protect the sea lion population following a 40 percent fall in numbers since 1998. New Zealand sea lions have a “nationally critical” threat classification, the same as the kakapo.

“The ministry has dropped the ball on this issue because the latest research shows the sea lion population will continue to spiral downwards towards extinction unless steps are taken to reduce the impact of fishing,” she said.

Sea lion deaths more likely

“At the same time the ministry is allowing the number of trawls in the fishery to be effectively doubled to 4700 per season, making it more likely that sea lions will be caught in the fishing nets.”

David Carter said scientific information showed sea lion exclusion devices (SLEDs), which are meant to allow sea lions to exit the giant trawl nets, are working.

But Katrina Subedar said there is no evidence that injured or dead sea lions are being retained in the nets. Increasing the number of observers on fishing vessels, as the new rules require, may therefore not give an accurate assessment of how many sea lions are being killed.

Forest & Bird believes the squid fishing industry could continue to prosper without threatening one of our most endangered species by switching to more sustainable fishing methods such as jigging.

Sea lions deliberately collapse their lungs so they can dive deeper: here.

Hundreds of emaciated stranded sea lion pups are washing ashore in California: here.

Film about sea lions: here.

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