The New Zealand Sea Lion

3000 Words12 Pages
I Introduction The New Zealand sea lion (formerly known as the Hooker’s sea lion) is the most threatened sea lion species in the world. A Scope Bycatch is a significant issue affecting marine mammals in New Zealand. This paper will focus on the effect that squid trawling has on the declining population of the New Zealand sea lion. This paper will address whether current mechanisms that seek to protect the New Zealand sea lion are robust and will recommend options for reform. B Background Historically, New Zealand sea lions occupied sites all around New Zealand. The New Zealand sea lion was common throughout New Zealand until the late eighteenth century. Today, New Zealand sea lions exist mainly on two main breeding sites: the Auckland Islands, and Campbell Island. In 2010, approximately 71% of sea lion pups were born at the Auckland Islands and 29% of sea lion pups were born on Campbell Island. For sea lions, estimates of pup production are the best measure of population status and size. In early 2014, 1,575 pups were counted on the Auckland Islands. The Auckland Island population appears to be sharply decreasing. The most recent figures indicate that since 1998 there has been decrease in pup production at the Auckland Islands of approximately 50%. The Ministry for Primary Industries maintains that the direct effect of fishing-related mortality on the New Zealand sea lion population is small. In spite of this, research suggests that a plausible hypothesis of the
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