DOC has implemented a New Zealand sea lion recovery plan and a population management plan for this species is being prepared.

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New Zealand sea lion Threat Management Plan

DOC and the Ministry for Primary Industries are developing a Threat Management Plan for New Zealand sea lions.

Along the way there will be opportunities for public input into the process and learn more about the range of threats to the sea lions and what is being done to reduce them. Information will be updated as the process moves forward.

Read more about the New Zealand sea lion Threat Management Plan.

Species management plan

DOC developed a Species Management Plan to guide management decisions for 5 years.This will be replaced by the Treat Management Plan once developed.

DOC rangers with captured New Zealand sea lion pup, Sandy Bay, Enderby Island. Photo copyright: Andrew Maloney. DOC USE ONLY.
DOC rangers with captured NZ sea
lion pup

Recovery of the New Zealand sea lion to non–threatened status requires an increase in population size and distribution. The Species Management Plan outlines a range of measures through which this will be facilitated. Emphasis is placed on the management of adverse human impacts, enforcement and compliance activities, community relations and will be supported through various research projects.

Research is being conducted to determine current population sizes as well as estimates of survival and reproductive rates. Annual surveys take place at the Auckland Islands. Research looks at foraging, growth and population health status. Research is also undertaken on the Campbell Island.

Concern over the incidental capture in the Auckland Islands squid trawl fishery contributed to the establishment of the Auckland Islands Marine Mammal Sanctuary and Marine Reserve. Fishing is now prohibited within 12 miles of the islands. By-catch limits are also set each year by the Minister of Fisheries and if such limits are exceeded the fisheries are closed for that year,however this has not occurred in the last seven years althought the limited has been reached in four of the years.

Another form of by-catch mitigation includes the implementation of Sea Lion Exclusion Devices (SLEDS) in fishing gear. DOC is involved with other stakeholders on research into the efficacy of these devices.

DOCs work related to the fishing impacts on sea lions is undertaken within its Conservation Services Program.

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