The Deepwater Group, which represents New Zealand’s deepwater fishing sector, welcomes the New Zealand Sea Lion Threat Management Plan released today by the Department of Conservation (DOC) and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).
This new Plan is based on a comprehensive risk assessment of the threats to New Zealand sea lions, which concludes that no single factor is solely responsible for their decline. The Plan adopts a broad approach to mitigate the key threats and to promote the recovery of these sea lion populations.
The seafood industry has worked assiduously with MPI, DOC, scientists and others, to understand the issues and risks to New Zealand sea lion populations and to identify and implement effective solutions to ensure they thrive.
“We are pleased this Plan adopts a broad approach to mitigating the key threats to this unique animal, including ways to reduce the effects of disease and nutrition that can cause the deaths of hundreds of sea lion pups annually at the Auckland Islands,” said George Clement, CEO of the Deepwater Group.
“We know that fishing is a risk factor for this rare animal, certainly not the only one, but it is the one that we can personally do most about and so that is where we are focused. We have now reduced the numbers of interactions with fishing vessels to where these are no longer considered to be the main concern and we remain committed to reducing these interactions further.”
Deepwater quota owners will continue to support the effective conservation of this important, rare and endemic species.