Greens Call for a Considered Cross-party Response to Fur Seal Challenge

Greens animal welfare spokesperson Tammy Franks MLC says a call by Liberal MP Adrian Pederick to cull fur seals in the Coorong and lower lakes is a kneejerk reaction to a complex problem.

Greens animal welfare spokesperson Tammy Franks MLC says a call by Liberal MP Adrian Pederick to cull fur seals in the Coorong and lower lakes is a kneejerk reaction to a complex problem.

Ms Franks is calling for a cross-party response to tackle the challenges posed by the burgeoning long-nosed fur seal population – including engagement with ecologists and the local community.

“Saying we should shoot the seals is a kneejerk reaction to a problem that the Government has so far failed to adequately manage,” Ms Franks said.

“The Greens share the concerns of the local fishing industry in the Coorong and lower lakes – and we are also very concerned about the environmental impacts posed by the population, including harm to birds and turtles.

“However, we need to be talking with the experts and the community and exhausting other options before we resort to practices like culling, which we know could have a major impact on our tourism industry.

“I am informed that acoustic harassment devices are one cost-effective option that the Government has not looked at.

“Changes to the seals’ environment, such as reduced flows and coastal changes, have forced them into non-traditional areas like the lower lakes and the Coorong itself.

“The reality is that when you mess with the system, you commit to managing it.

“The question now is what this management should look like. Inaction isn’t the answer,” she concluded.

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