© Southern Seabird Solutions Trust 2019 

Seabird Smart Awards 2019

Seabird Smart Award Winner 2019 - Dave Kellian

Dave Kellian is pictured with the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage

Dave has been an innovative leader for 40 years. He is the original brains behind the underwater long-line bait setting system which is being trialed in NZ this spring. He was an early adopter of line weighting in his fleet, and has advocated the benefits of line weighting for seabirds for many years. He has also acted as a champion for New Zealand seabirds internationally, working with fishermen in Peru, South Africa and French Polynesia.


"Seabird deaths are negative for everyone, not just the birds, so we've got to sort this once and for all."


Special Recognition Awards


Olaf Nilsen is pictured with Minister of Fisheries, Stuart Nash

Olaf Nilsen. Olaf is a third generation fisherman, has been fishing himself since 1967 and has been a trustee on the Yellow-Eyed Penguin Trust for 18 months. He helped develop and implement set net operational guidelines and initiated a 4 mile set-net ban around Codfish Island in 2017 as a gesture of goodwill from local fishermen towards penguin conservation.


"I see these birds close up all the time. They are magnificent, amazing creatures - I admire them. If I could, I'd love to do more to look after them." In retirement Olaf plans to help eradicate pests from Rakiura.



Scott and Sue Tindale. Scott's family have been game fishing since 1860. He and Sue have been game fishing for 30 years and focus on finding simple solutions and sharing these widely. They spend a huge amount of their own time and resources spreading the 'seabird safe' message at trade shows, fishing contests, club nights, and representing recreational fishing on a number of special interest groups.


"There are a raft of ways to stop seabirds getting hurt - we've got to step it up."

They are optimistic about the future - "education is creating change for the better."

Other Nominees

Nigel Hollands. Nigel loves nature and has over 400 days at sea as an observer. "He is one of those people who prints passion to the job, as well as having an ability to bring on board even difficult skippers and crew." "He is responsible for significant changes in thinking in recent times." - Nigel's nominator.

Nigel believes the stories scientists tell are really important. He has taken fishermen to the colony on Aotea so they can share in these stories - "they started telling their mates in the pub!" "It's about the birds, not the rules - the birds are my focus."

Leef Smith. Leef has been fishing since leaving school 8 years ago. "I'll be a fisherman my whole life, I love it. We do everything we can to try to do the right thing - it's the only way to be a proper fisherman." Leef visited the black petrel colony on Aotea - "When you know they are OUR seabirds - from here - it made me realise how important it is to look after them."


"Leef is one of the new breed of young fishermen showing good commitment to conservation values, especially around seabirds." - Leef's nominator.


The Seabird Smart Awards were made possible with thanks to the following sponsors: