A new DoC study reveals our nationally critical New Zealand sea lions are likely to become extinct within our lifetime (23 years) at the current levels of by-catch.
Dr Louise Chilvers found at the current levels of by-catch the Auckland Island NZ sea lion population would be “functionally extinct by 2035”.
A senior lecturer in Zoology at the University of Otago, Dr Bruce Robertson, concluded that the most likely causes for the NZ sea lion decline were due to -
a) The accidental capture of NZ sea-lions by squid fisheries, and other fisheries operating within their range.
b) Competition with the squid fishery.
Forest & Bird is calling for an urgent review of the management of NZ sea lions to halt the population decline.
By signing this petition you will be asking the government to take immediate action to prevent the extinction of this threatened species, by
- Placing NZ sea lions under the Marine Mammal Protection Act 1978 rather than the Fisheries Act. Under the management of the Fisheries Act our NZ sea lions pups have declined by 50%. If managed under the Marine Mammal Protection Act our sea-lions would be managed to a non-threatened status as soon as reasonably practicable, and within 20 years .
- Altering the fishing method used by squid fisheries from trawl to jig fishing.
This would still allow squid to be caught in a way unlikely to kill any NZ sea lions, seabirds and other by-catch associated with this fishery.