The government is facing criticism for deciding to keep the maximum number of permitted fishing-related sea lion deaths in the Auckland Islands squid fishery at 68 for the 2012/13 season.
Primary Industries Minister David Carter announced the decision on Thursday, saying devices designed to allow sea lions to escape from nets were working.
Fisheries are closed when the permitted mortality rate is reached.
Mr Carter says there have been no reported sea lion captures in the Auckland Islands squid fishery for the last two seasons.
The Green Party says New Zealand sea lions are an endangered species and should have the utmost protection.
Oceans spokesman Gareth Hughes says the government should make fishers use jigging rather than the "lethal" trawling method they currently use.
He says even one human-induced sea lion death is too many.
Forest and Bird says sea lion numbers have fallen 40 per cent since 1998.
"The latest research shows the sea lion population will continue to spiral downwards towards extinction unless steps are taken to reduce the impact of fishing," it said.Forest and Bird also wants fishers to be stopped from using trawls.
Copyright © 2013 Yahoo!7
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.