Sea Society New Zealand has launched a campaign to protect New Zealand’s indigenous sea lion by pushing for enforcement of foot traffic only across Surat Bay and Cannibal Bay in the Otago Region.
Surat Bay and Cannibal Bay are two beaches known to be inhabited by the New Zealand sea lion; who were exiled from mainland New Zealand for approximately 300 years until 1994. The New Zealand sea lion are classified as ‘Nationally Vulnerable’ in New Zealand and ‘Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
In an 1999 study conducted by the Department of Conservation, it revealed that vehicle use in coastal ecosystems contributed to a number of adverse effects, including “destruction of dune vegetation, disturbance of wildlife, introduction of alien species, erosion, litter, and increased exploitation of marine animals.”
Founder of Sea Society New Zealand Sian Mair says that “to enjoy New Zealand’s beaches, we do not need to drive our vehicles on to the beach”.
You can sign and share the Sea Society petition to protect the sea lion here.