Seabird Smart Awards 2017
Stu Morrison, Altair Fishing
Altair Fishing Limited took home the trophy for their commitment to seabird mitigation across their five West Coast tuna vessels.
Fishing with conservation in mind is just part of the right to be out there says company director, Diane Brooks. Diane is passionate about mitigating the risks to seabirds associated with Altair Fishing’s five West Coast based vessels.
The company runs a fleet of surface long line boats and has been at the forefront of seabird mitigation work for many years. All of the vessels use bird scaring lines, set their fishing lines at night, add weights to sink their baits quickly and dye their bait so it is less visible to the birds.
The Seabird Smart trophy was accepted by company director, Diane Brookes and skipper Mike Smith. Diane and Mike both have over 30 years in the industry and observe a significant change in culture over that time. Both are enthusiastic ambassadors for seabirds and an authority on well tested and new mitigation measures. The leadership at Altair Fishing Limited are responsible for maximising the uptake of best practice mitigation measures across the fleet.
A special award was established this year to recognise a great innovator.
“Gavin Heineman has re-engineered his fishing deck so that fish discards are released away from the seabird danger zone of his trawl cables. He has also been working on a novel cone attachment that fits to the trawl cable to keep seabirds safe if they do venture near. These ideas will have application on many trawl vessels in the fleet.