Introduction

We’re offering a $5000 reward for information leading to the conviction of whoever was responsible for the unlawful killing of at least 8 fur seals on the Kaikōura coast.

Summary

Reward: $5000
Location of interest: Ohau Point and Half Moon Bay, on the Kaikōura coast

DOC is appealing for material information about the identities of any person or persons responsible for the unlawful killing of the seals. Specifically about or around the period 18 October to 10 November 2021.

The offer of this reward will remain in force up until 12 February 2022.

Context

Eight seals are known to have been shot dead and the deaths of another 11 seals are being treated as suspicious. The seals are believed to have died around late October or early November.

DOC was first alerted to dead seals at Ōhau Point on Labour Day, 25 October 2021. Six dead seals were found there and the other 13 seals were found at two sites in the Half Moon Bay area.

Evidence gathered indicates at least two firearms of different calibres were used to shoot the seals and it’s possible more than one person may have shot them.

Reward details

The Director-General of Conservation has determined that a reward of $5,000 will be paid to any person or persons with material information or evidence, which leads to the conviction or procures the conviction or assists in the conviction of any person or persons who are responsible for the unlawful killing of New Zealand fur seals at three sites in the area of Ohau Point and Half Moon Bay, on the Kaikōura coast, on, about or around the period 18 October to 10 November 2021.

DOC is appealing for material information about the identities of any person or persons responsible for the unlawful killing of the seals.

The Director-General will determine the apportionment of the reward should there be more than one claimant.

Any reward will only be paid to a person or persons who have played no material part in committing the offence/s.

Contact

Any person with material information or evidence concerning the offence indicated is asked to contact the lead DOC investigator, Principal Compliance Officer Jeff Hall.

Contact them through:

You can also contact Kaikōura Police via 105 and quote file number 211103/1981. You can also provide provide information anonymously through Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.

Further information

DOC administers the Marine Mammals Protection Act 1978 and takes seriously killing or harming of taonga marine mammals. There are significant penalties under the Act for harassing, disturbing, injuring or killing a marine mammal of a maximum two years’ imprisonment or a fine to a maximum of $250,000.

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