17 Nov 2009

DoC won't prosecute over seal breach

9:53 pm on 17 November 2009

The Department of Conservation (DoC) says it won't prosecute Marineland of New Zealand for breaching its permit under the Marine Mammals Protection Act.

Last week it revealed Napier City Council's marine zoo kept three wild fur seal pups in captivity when it wasn't authorised to do so.

The breaches occurred in 1996, 2006 and 2007.

DOC's biodiversity assets manager Bryan Welch says there was a second breach relating to Marineland incorrectly reporting where the pups came from.

He says the department regards the breaches as an error of judgement and plans to tighten up the wording of its permit to make sure there are no future misunderstandings.

Mr Welch says DOC management will meet with the Napier City Council's chief executive next week to discuss the matter.