National’s decision to allow a 40% increase in endangered Sea Lion kill-quota for the squid fishing industry is old news but I haven’t seen it covered anywhere except in a link in one of Steve’s posts a week or so ago so I’m assuming it was lost in the xmas rush. It shouldn’t have been.
Let’s be clear on this matter. The kill quota is already exceeded on a yearly basis because it relies on boats with observers and on self regulation from the fishing industry and the fishing industry isn’t exactly well known for putting ethical considerations first.
Down in Dunedin the Hooker Sea Lion colony is considered one of the big draw cards for eco-tourism and are a part of the local identity. They are also only found in New Zealand and are one of the rarest seals in the world. So rare in fact that the recommendation was to halve the quota to try to stop the decline in population, but all that seems immaterial to National as by increasing the kill-quota it has allowed the squid fishing season to go longer and that means more money for the fishing industry.
If anything this shows the new government is willing to put short-term gain for private interests ahead of the long-term benefits of maintaining the environment (and our clean green image). I struggle to understand why they would do this and why it would be such a high priority so early in their term. But then again the fishing industry has a history of “looking after” political parties so maybe this ios some kind of payback. I guess we’ll never know.
In the meantime have a look here to see just what the government is killing.