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Seabird Smart Awards 2015

Updated: Nov 11, 2019

Tom Searle (Lee Fish) and Mike Black (Talley's)

The Minister of Conservation presents the 2015 awards

Tom is Operations Manager for Leigh Fisheries. Through Tom’s efforts, Leigh Fisheries has ensured almost every longline skipper they do business with has attended a Seabird Smart Training workshop. He has also helped the Ministry for Primary Industries/Department of Conservation jointly funded Liaison officers prepare Seabird Risk management Plans for each vessel.

Tom has helped coordinate trips for fishermen to the black petrel colony on Great Barrier Island/Aotea and is actively working to ensure fishing takes place in a way that, in his own words “ensures these majestic birds are protected for the few months they are in the Gulf raising their chicks.”

Mike is Depot Supervisor for Talleys in Bluff. He manages 20 vessels from Moeraki to Jackson Bay. When the Southern Inshore Fisheries Management Company enlisted his help in rolling out Seabird Risk Management Plans for inshore trawlers, he had it done within two months.

Mike grew up in a household where conservation and fishing went hand in hand. He believes looking after seabirds is the right thing to do and he is using his influence to achieve this. Mike and his dad are also passionate about good rubbish management on vessels and took part in the 2015 Fiordland beach clean up.

Special Recognition Award – Wayne Dreadon

As a snapper fisherman based out of Whitianga, Wayne has set a high standard in seabird mitigation and used his engineering skills to explore potential new mitigation ideas.

Wayne believes that accurate information on seabird captures helps everyone, and in his role as Vice President of the Whitianga/Coromandel Peninsular Fishermen’s Association, he has encouraged local fishers to get behind the government’s observer programme. Wayne is also encouraging local charter operators to get involved in Seabird Smart Fishing workshops. He has visited the black petrel/taiko colony on Great Barrier Island.

Government Observer Award – Jamie Williamson

Some fisheries observers have particular interests or specialist knowledge, and inevitably their interest rubs off on the skippers and crew. This has most definitely been the case with Jamie. Jamie is passionate about seabirds and he has enthused scores of fishermen by sharing his knowledge. Jamie’s email address is ‘the birdman’ – a nickname he has picked up from fishermen he has been to sea with. Jamie was nominated for the award by several commercial fishermen. Jamie is based near Whitianga on the Coromandel Peninsula.


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