Commercial fishing in the Auckland Islands squid fishery will be required to mandatorily use Sea Lion Exclusion Devices (SLEDs) on their vessels from October 2020, says the Ministry of Primary Industries.
The Squid 6T Operational Plan changes the use of SLEDs in commercial fishing in the Auckland Islands from voluntary to mandatory.
MPI says commercial fishing is a threat to sea lions. An annual limit will be set to the amount of impact fishing can have before the fishery is automatically closed as a precautionary measure.
The operational plan shows Auckland Islands female sea lion populations has declined since the year 2000, but only gradually since 2010.