Sea Lions are in Trouble!
So what’s new?
A study just out from Otago University has shown that our NZ sea lions are in need of more protection especially our new mums and mums to be.
What is one of their biggest threats?
One of the sea lion’s favourite food is squid and if they are swimming around our squid fishing boats they are in danger of being caught too!
What’s already being done?
The Auckland Islands Marine Mammal Sanctuary has been created around where the sea lions breed but unfortunately when the sea lions are out looking for food they don’t know that they have wandered into dangerous waters that lie beyond it.
How can you help?
Forest and Bird would like the government to ban all squid trawling around our NZ Sea lions or replace trawling with jigging so that our sea lions can safely look for food without the threat of being by-catch (caught by accident when boats are out fishing for squid and other kai moana). New mums can then get back safely to their pups and mums-to-be have enough food to feed their growing babies.
Why not have a debate at home or at school. Should the government ban all squid trawling around our NZ Sea lions or replace trawling with jigging?
Some questions to explore…
Squid Fishing Industry
- How will banning fishing boats impact the squid fishing industry?
- Can they fish for squid elsewhere or at different times of the year?
- Can they use other methods of catching the squid (jigging) that doesn’t harm our sea lions?
New Zealand Sea Lions
- Will less female sea lions get caught in trawling nets?
- Will squid populations increase around the sanctuary?
- Is there a way that sea lions and our fishing boats can fish in the ocean together?
Want to write to our government to tell them what you think?
Click here and write a letter as a family or a class. Tell us what you wrote and we’ll include it here.
Photo Credit: Craig McKenzie.