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    The use of sea lion exclusion devices in the New Zealand Auckland Islands shelf trawl squid fishery

    Request Meeting Document
    Document Number:
    R. Mattlin (New Zealand)
    Agenda Item(s)

    The New Zealand sea lion is taken incidental to trawl fisheries within New Zealand’s fisheries waters. About 99% of the incidental sea lion take occurs within the Auckland Islands region in association with a seasonal trawl fishery for squid. From 1995 through 2004, an estimated 79 (SD ± 35) sea lions were taken annually, incidental to trawl squid fisheries. The threatened classification of sea lions necessitates that measures are taken to mitigate the fisheries related incidental kill. The Squid Fishery Management Company has undertaken the development of a Sea Lion Exclusion Device (SLED) that they believe is a viable, practical way to allow sea lions to escape a net when trawling for squid while not adversely affecting squid catch or quality. While it has been demonstrated that the SLED does allow sea lions to escape, there are questions surrounding their short and long-term survivability.