Accidental sea lion captures regrettable

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Any accidental capture of a marine mammal as a consequence of fishing is regrettable, says Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Deputy Director-General Scott Gallacher.

The two recent sea lion captures near the Auckland Islands were the first known mortalities in the area since 2010.

“We know that sea lion deaths due to fishing have significantly reduced over the last decade, due to preventative measures taken by MPI, Department of Conservation and the fishing industry.”

Captures recorded by MPI in the Auckland Islands squid fishery fell from 21 in 2001-02 to 0 in both 2011 and 2012.

“The overall number of mortalities reflects good progress,’’ says Mr Gallacher. “However, we know that some accidental captures will still occur. When they do, we look very carefully at how they occurred.’’

MPI will continue to work closely with the fishing industry and the Department of Conservation to monitor and manage fishing-related impacts on sea lions to ensure their long-term survival. 

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