Date: 12 November 2009
The Department of Conservation has recently become aware that Napier City Council’s Marineland has breached permit conditions for holding marine mammals, on two counts.
Hawke’s Bay Area manager Jan Hania advised today that Marineland holds marine mammals under a permit issued by the department under the Marine Mammals Protection Act – which provides for the protection, conservation and management of marine mammals.
“Marineland has taken into captivity three wild furseal pups without being officially authorised to do so,” Mr Hania said. “The second breach refers to the incorrect reporting of the origin of all three pups.”
“These breaches constitute an error of judgment. We are treating this very seriously and following it up with the parties concerned.”
Mr Hania said the conservation values and welfare of the animals concerned was not at issue.
The department understands that the pups were in poor condition on being taken into Marineland due to ill health and dog attacks.
Mr Hania said at no time had Marineland exceeded the number of animals that they were permitted to hold in captivity and all other conditions of the permit had been complied with.
He expressed his disappointment at the breaches of the permit conditions given the excellent working relationship the two agencies have enjoyed.
“This should not negate the good work achieved by Marineland in advocacy for the protection of marine mammals, especially their expertise in the welfare of seals,” he said.