Date: 09 August 2016
Following a number of requests for an extended submission period, due to the large amount of background information available, the Department of Conservation (DOC) and Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) have decided to extend public consultation on the draft plan until 5pm on 19 August 2016.
DOC’s manager of marine species and threats, Ian Angus, said DOC and MPI recognise there is a large amount of background information to support the consultation process and a large number of stakeholders are interested in recovery of the sea lion.
“Given the number of interested parties, such as treaty partners, stakeholders and community groups, we feel it is in the best interest of sea lions to extend the submission period,” Ian said.
By yesterday (Monday), DOC had received a total of 2449 submissions. 1335 were from WWF, 1083 from Forest & Bird, three from Our Seas Our Future (online submission forms), and 28 from individuals.
The plan will provide a long-term programme to manage threats to sea lions and reduce their population decline.
These threats include disease, commercial fishing, changes in food resources, pups drowning in holes, male sea lion aggression and human disturbance.
To have your say on a range of options and recommendations for mitigating both human-induced and natural threats to New Zealand sea lions visit www.doc.govt.nz/sealion-tmp-consultation
The sea lion threat management plan was sought by the Minister of Conservation and the Minister for Primary Industries in 2014 in response to an ongoing trend of decline in sea lion pup numbers at the main breeding sites at the Auckland Islands.
DOC and MPI ran a formal risk assessment process with national and international experts over the last 18 months, the results of which have informed the plan.
As well as national initiatives to help the sea lion population recover, the plan proposes several actions in the four regions where sea lions breed – the Auckland Islands, Campbell Island, Stewart Island and the Otago coast (including the Catlins).