Subject: Seals:Temporary marking of fur seals in water. Suggestions please

Mike Williamson (
Thu, 19 Feb 1998 07:36:23 -0500 (EST)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 12:33:41 +1300
From: "WEST, Ian [SCI,SR]" <>
Reply-To: Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
Subject: Temporary marking of fur seals in water. Suggestions please

New Zealand fur seals have recently started predating ling on demersal
long lines at the time of line haul. The animals sit within about 10
metres of the vessel and seize fish in the last few seconds before
they are hauled aboard. Losses of up to 30% of catch have been

One of the questions we would like to ask is whether there is a
constant turn-over of animals using this predation technique or
whether the same animals follow a vessel for several days.

We would like to be able to mark animals from a device on the fishing
vessel with a mark that would persist for say up to six days. Clearly
some sort of dart tag is a possibility but may give rise to animal
ethics problems. Another possibility might be some form of die, paint
or bleach. We will not be able to capture the animals and bring them
aboard the vessel. I would be interested to hear of any suggestions
for, and experience with, similar tagging systems.

Ian West
Programme Manager, Conservation Services  Levy
Science and Research Division, Department of Conservation
P.O. Box 10 420, Wellington, New Zealand
(Conservation Sciences Centre, 58 Tory Street, Wellington)
Tel: +64 4 471 3237  Fax: + 64 4 471 3279