Doc still investigating if sea lion and pup disturbed

Claims a sand mining operation disturbed a sea lion and her pup at a Dunedin beach in February remain under investigation.

Department of Conservation coastal Otago operations manager Annie Wallace said she could not comment until the investigation was complete.

A sand extraction operation by Nash & Ross ran afoul of several members of the public at Tomahawk Beach when workers allegedly disturbed a mother and pup of the threatened species present at the beach when the work began.

Members of the public called Doc and police at the time.

Others were drawn to the beach after a heated exchange between the workers and members of the public.

Initially, the Otago Regional Council said the work complied with consents held by the company.

But after complaints by the public, the council said it would investigate.

At the time, council consents manager Joanna Gilroy said the consent the company held included conditions that could trigger a review.

This week, council regulatory general manager Richard Saunders said the council had considered the work and would not undertake a formal review of the consent.

The council would continue monitoring the sand extraction activities to ensure compliance with resource consent conditions, Mr Saunders said. 


A half year later they are still investigating? I cant tell what is the real pup, the sea lion or the ORC. Sand is a very valuable commodity word wide with beaches being stolen over night for construction use we need to be smarter faster and tougher on those who seek to strip mine it.

While they are there, can tell us about all the sealions in the Catlins area with 20cm sized numbers branded into them by the Department? I wonder if the sealions that got branded felt more disturbed than the sealions at Tomahawk?

Apparently nothing to see here Department of Conservation.

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