HSI welcomes measures to protect Australian sea lions
Humane Society International (HSI) has today welcomed the closure of a second area in a South Australian shark fishery, following the deaths of a further three Australian sea lions in the nets of the fishery in February.
“The closure of a second ‘zone’ in the South Australian gillnet fishery is evidence that management measures are working to ensure the protection of the threatened Australian sea lion” said Alexia Wellbelove of Humane Society International.
“It is clear from the number of deaths to date that Australian sea lions do get caught and killed in this gillnet fishery. These deaths could result in the decline or even possibly extinction of Australian sea lion sub-populations, making it essential that strict measures remain in place” concluded Ms Wellbelove.
The closure is the second in the gillnet sector of the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery which targets gummy sharks, as part of the Australian Sea Lion Management Strategy implemented in 2010. Each closure is for a period of 18 months to reflect the 18 month gestation period of the Australian sea lion and to allow time for affected sub-populations to recover.
A map of the fishery closures can be viewed at http://www.afma.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/SESSF-Closure-Direction-No-2-2012-Zone-B-Gillnet-Closure.pdf