Submissions on the Government's sea lion discussion document have now closed.
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Forest & Bird has made a submission on the draft Threat Management Plan, outlining the following key concerns:
- The draft Threat Management Plan is lacking even a mildly ambitious long term goal to recover the NZ sea lion population.
- Forest & Bird recommends the long term goal should be to recover the sea lion population to non-threatened status and that there should be meaningful and measurable short term demographic targets.
- The draft Threat Management Plan has few management actions and those that it does have are not very meaningful.
- The Threat Management Plan needs to prioritise management actions to alleviate anthropogenic threats, specifically fisheries related mortalities.
- The Threat Management Plan has failed to highlight uncertainties associated with the use of Sea Lion Exclusion Devices and did not propose research to address Sea Lion Exclusion Device efficacy.
- Forest & Bird is proposing an additional national program of work to address fisheries threats and Sea Lion Exclusion Device efficacy concerns.
- Forest & Bird recommends zero mortality of New Zealand sea lions from all fishing activities as soon as practicable, and in any event by 2022.
- Forest & Bird proposes to achieve this by implementing an innovative adaptive management plan.
- The adaptive management plan proposes a spatial fisheries closure at the Auckland Islands that will not restrict squid quota from being caught.