Sea lions and fur seals are the protected species most directly affected by fisheries in New Zealand waters, along with seabirds and dolphins. Trawling poses a risk to both species. Fur seals can also be captured by other fishing gear, including long lines. Estimating the bycatch of sea lions and fur seals indicates the pressures they face from current fishing practices.
The New Zealand fur seal Arctocephalus forsteri is classified as not threatened with extinction and its population appears to be increasing and extending back into its historical range (where they were commonly found) (Baker et al, 2010). They have a wide distribution, but are more common in the southern parts of New Zealand.
The Fisheries Act 1996 designates the New Zealand fur seal as protected and requires mitigation measures to reduce bycatch (Ministry for Primary Industries, 2014).
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Imported on Oct. 14, 2016