NZ Sea Lion

New Zealand sea lions used to be found along the entire length of the New Zealand coast, but after centuries of being hunted by both Māori and Pākehā (non-Māori), they have become one of the rarest sea lion species in the world.

Māori hunted sea lions for fur and food, as well as using their teeth for fish hooks. When Pākehā settlers arrived in the 1700s, they hunted seals for pelts, and used their blubber for oil lamps. Such was the scale of the industry, that in 1875 the government passed a law to protect sea lions and they remain protected today.