by Gareth Hughes
I was fortunate to see some sea lions in the wild yesterday on the Otago Peninsular as I launched our push to protect these critically endangered animals.
Along with sea lion expert Dr Bruce Robertson and Sea Lion Trust Chairman Stephen Broni, I launched an online submission that people can send to the Government urging greater protection. Recent research identified squid fishing as the most likely cause of sea lion population decline on the Auckland Islands. Yet, in a major departure from past policy, the Government in their consultation document is proposing to remove entirely the sea lion by-catch limit for the squid fishery in this area. This is unacceptable and pushed this magnificent animal closer to extinction.
I think the Government was hoping this would fly under the public’s radar just before Christmas, so we need as many submissions sent in as possible.