Cease. Minister for Primary Industries and Water Jeremy Rockliff announced last week that seal relocations from finfish farms are to stop by the end of the year.
“Increasing numbers of relocations in recent years have impacted on recreational fishers and ceasing the practice will be welcomed,” he said.
Seal relocations have become a routine measure to manage seals over the past 15 years.
In the last few years, there has been a steady increase in seal relocations with more than 1000 relocated last calendar year and more than 1900 relocations this year to date.
Figures for last month alone indicate 367 seals were relocated.
“The decision to end the program of seal relocations takes into account the fact that the practice of relocating seals has the potential to cause unwanted impacts and interactions in waters in the north west where seals are released,” Mr Rockliff said.
A review and amendment of the Seal Management Framework will be undertaken to ensure appropriate access to seal management measures by industry.
The Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment is planning to undertake a statewide Australian fur-seal population survey early next year in collaboration with Victorian counterparts. This data will better inform what resident population is present in waters around the state.