New Zealand is home to the greatest diversity of seabirds on earth, many of these are international travellers that come here to breed. Such diversity, coupled with large numbers, makes fishing in New Zealand particularly challenging. Seabirds naturally flock around fishing vessels as fish scraps and catch provide easy pickings. In their race for food, seabirds may get struck by trawl cables or entangled in the net. To reduce interactions, we have worked hard to develop and implement seabird-smart fishing practices. These have proven successful and many are now regarded as international best practice. The Ministry for Primary Industries has produced an updated National Plan of Action for Seabirds to continue to document New Zealand’s efforts in conserving and managing seabirds within our waters. DWG is also involved in Southern Seabird Solutions, an innovative alliance with representatives from the seafood industry, government and WWF-NZ promoting seabird-smart practices in Southern Hemisphere fisheries.
Southern Seabirds Solutions produced this video on deepwater trawl and longline response to seabird captures.