Wednesday, 12 August 2009


Sometimes it is important to comment on some of the wacky and emotive crap the Green party puts into the public arena.

We love Hooker Sealions. They are very cool. We also love the Seafood industry and sad as it maybe some sealions will die as we harvest seafood. We need a regime that ensures minimal deaths but ensures the seafood harvest is sustained.

Up until now the regulations have been based on spurious science and emotion. That is changing and its pissing off the Greens.

So we indulge in not fishing - but fisking..

Government leaves sea lions to fend for themselves

Press Release by Green Party at 3:42 pm, 11 Aug 2009

Today's Government decision to abandon the sea lion Population Management Plan (PMP) leaves the species high and dry, and moves them a step closer to extinction.

There is no evidence that the population is heading toward extinction under the current management regime. The PMP would have set a regime (called MALFiRM) that may not have been substantially different from the current Fishing Related Mortality Limit (FRML); MFish would still have implemented the MALFiRM, as it does the FRML.

"It is bitterly disappointing that the Government has ditched one of the best tools we have in the law to protect a threatened marine mammal like the New Zealand sea lion," said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

The sea lion PMP has limitations about what about what it can achieve; it still sets an annual limit for MFish to implement. Other statutory tools like marine mammal sanctuaries remain available in the absence of a PMP.

The Department of Conservation today announced that it has produced a 'species management plan' (a generic set of guidelines) and dropped the 'Population Management Plan' (a legal plan under the Marine Mammals Protection Act) that the public submitted on.

What a bloody good idea.

"Without a population management plan, the Government decision on how many sea lions can be 'sustainably' killed this coming season will be made under the Fisheries Act rather than our marine protection laws," said Mrs Turei.

So what? The Ministry still administers it.

"This decision shows how important it is to fix our marine protection laws, and how irresponsible it was for the National Party to vote against my recent bill to do just that."

What crap The current approach has the support of most stakeholders.

The Green Party's Marine Animal Protection Law Reform Bill was voted down by the National Party late last month sparking an outcry from environment groups.

Indeed. It was a crap piece of legislation - all rhetoric - no common sense.

"The continued decline of our sea lion shows that the marine sanctuaries and reserves around its breeding grounds are insufficient," said Mrs Turei. "We need a strong plan that will actually protect them."

What utter bullshit. Our muttonbird island is a classic example numbers have remained steady for over 20 years. And the cause of the supposed decline is unknown but is very unlikely to be caused by the direct effect of fishing. Marine reserves cannot be extended beyond the territorial sea of the Auckland Islands, and the option of extending the marine mammal sanctuary remains available under the current legislation even without a PMP. The PMP would have set a regime (MALFiRM) that would have been implemented by MAF if it considers it’s appropriate after looking at all relevant factors.

"Sea lion mums killed at sea result in pups onshore being left to starve when mum doesn't return."

Yup, sometimes, its ugly to watch but thats life and death. and remember deaths at sea can occur as a result of natural events, not just fishing. Whales are a main predator.

72 sea lions were presumed killed by the fishery at the close of the 2008/9 fishing season.

True they are presumed killed, but almost certainly a vast overestimation of actual deaths. During the heaviest part of the squid fishing season over 50% of boats carried official observers. Only four sea lion deaths were reported (two by boats carrying observers and two by boats that weren’t carrying observers). So the extrapolation of figures is the absolute worst case scenario laced with a good dollop of emotive crapola.

The New Zealand sea lion was declared a threatened species under the Marine Mammals Protection Act in 1997. It is the rarest sea lion in the world.

Give us a break. It was always a small discrete population. Its at the top of the food chain and there is never huge populations of anything at the top of the food chain - marine biology 101.

Natural vulnerability to disease is amplified by sea lions killed in interactions with fishing vessels. It is estimate that 700 adults have been killed by Sub-Antarctic squid trawlers in the past decade.

The 700 estimate may be about right assuming 70 per year, but that of course is 70 assumed deaths under the FRML – remember that with significant observation of the fishery this year only four sea lion deaths were actually confirmed, two on observed boats and two reported by unobserved boats.

In the absence of a Population Management Plan, fishing-related deaths of sea lions will be managed by the Ministry of Fisheries, leaving the Department of Conservation to manage other aspects under a weak non-statutory plan.

True, but a classic straw man statement: nothing has changed; whatever the regime it would have been managed by the Ministry of Fisheries. so we reckon all in all a good move by the government. Rational and reasonable. - a far cry from the emotive driven legislation we have seen in the past decade.

1 comment:

kehua said...

You are pretty good all right BB. As they say out our way " you have to have your hammer cocked when you deal with this Lady"