The seafood industry is backing seabird protection.
Seafood New Zealand today welcomed the collaborative efforts of the Black Petrel Working Group to develop means of reducing the risk to this threatened seabird from fishing.
“Our industry sees real value in collaborating with organisations to find long-term and effective solutions in how we protect marine wildlife, including seabirds,” says Tim Pankhurst, Chief Executive of Seafood New Zealand.
Black petrels are returning to New Zealand to breed on Great Barrier and Little Barrier Islands, following a long journey across the Pacific Ocean.
The Group, made up of commercial and recreational fishers, environmental interests, government and iwi, gathered in Leigh today to sign the Black Petrel Pledge aimed at getting everyone using seabird smart fishing practices on the Hauraki Gulf.
These include widespread training in seabird mitigation, testing and refining existing mitigation measures, as well as introducing improved monitoring, including the use of cameras, to prove methods are in place and working.
“The Group’s actions are a tangible demonstration of how organisations, often with differing interests, can work together in a positive and proactive way,” says Mr Pankhurst.
Southern Seabird Solutions Trust, which works with professional skippers and crew and recreational anglers to reduce harm to seabirds through fishing, played an important role in bringing together the relevant organisations.
“The commercial seafood industry has been a strong supporter and sponsor of the Trust which has been instrumental in working with commercial fishers to reduce seabird by-catch in a practical way,” says Mr Pankhurst.
“Their approach is collaborative and based on shared learnings, often gained in workshops held with fishers around the country. It’s great to see this extended to their work with the black petrel.”
For more information contact:
Tim Pankhurst, CE of Seafood New Zealand, tel 021 674 133
For more information on the Working Group and Pledge: www.southernseabirds.org