Mitigation of incidental mortality of Australian sea lions in the west coast rock lobster fishery

  • Published source details Campbell R., Holley D., Christianopoulos D., Caputi N. & Gales N. (2008) Mitigation of incidental mortality of Australian sea lions in the west coast rock lobster fishery. Endangered Species Research, 5, 345-358.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Modify fishing pots and traps to exclude mammals

Action Link
Marine and Freshwater Mammal Conservation
  1. Modify fishing pots and traps to exclude mammals

    A controlled study (year not stated) in coastal waters of the Indian Ocean, Western Australia (Campbell et al. 2008) reported that installing steel rods on lobster pots resulted in fewer Australian sea lion Neophoca cinerea pups entering the pots, and a smaller gap at the pot opening excluded more sea lion pups. Results are not based on assessments of statistical significance. Fewer sea lion pups successfully entered pots with steel rods fitted (0–45%) than pots without (82%). More sea lion pups were excluded from pots with a smaller gap between the rod and pot opening (60 mm gap: 55% of pups excluded; 40 mm gap: 72%; 20 mm gap: 95%; 0 mm gap: 100%). Daily catch rates of target rock lobster Panulirus cygnus did not differ significantly between pots with or without steel rods (see original paper for data). A lobster pot with a steel rod and a control pot (without a steel rod) were filled with 10–15 lobsters and deployed in shallow water adjacent to a sea lion breeding colony. The height of the steel rod was varied to create four gap sizes at the pot opening (0, 20, 40 or 60 mm). Trials were carried out for each of the four pot treatments until all lobsters were removed or sea lions moved away from the area (dates not reported). Sea lion pups that placed their head into the pot (at risk of drowning) were counted as entering pots.

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

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