New Zealand’s sea lion could be virtually extinct in two decades – if trends continue! So Forest & Bird New Zealand is asking for your help…
Once found all around our coastline, the New Zealand sea lion is now the world’s rarest sea lion. They have the same Nationally Critical status as the kākāpō, and some studies predict they could be extinct within 20 years. They need all the help they can get, right now.
The Department of Conservation and the Ministry of Primary Industries have asked for feedback on their plan for managing risks to this special species, but they have only recommended more monitoring and research for the next 20 years – by which time it could be far too late.
The main preventable threat the New Zealand sea lion is the squid fishery that operates off the coast of their main breeding ground in the Auckland Islands.
Nursing females can be killed or injured in squid trawl nets and so-called Sea Lion Exclusion Devices (SLEDs) while out fishing to feed their young pups.
If a female sea lion is fatally wounded or drowned in a net or by the SLED, it’s not just her that dies. Her pup waiting on shore will starve to death and because she is often already pregnant, next year’s pup will die as well.
Saving our magnificent sea lion will take determined action from all of us, including the Government, and fishing industry.
Please take action: Make a submission by August 19 and tell the Government it must act to reduce the impact of commercial fishing on sea lions.
More info at Forest & Bird Society and regards education National Association for Environmental Education (NAEE UK)