Seabird-Smart Fishing Toolkit: A How-To Guide For High Seas Fisheries
New Zealand’s albatrosses and petrels search the world’s oceans for squid and fish well beyond our Exclusive Economic Zone. Unfortunately, this puts them at risk from becoming caught on baited longline hooks. And while each boat may only catch a small number of seabirds over a year, there are many hundreds of fishing boats setting lines in albatross and petrel-rich waters. The dramatic decline of the Antipodean albatross has been attributed to these high-seas fishing deaths.
The good news is there are solutions, and Southern Seabirds in partnership with the Department of Conservation, has a programme underway to help stem the loss of these magnificent birds. We are producing tools and resources so that those involved in fishing have the knowledge and practical information they need to catch fish without endangering albatross and petrel populations. We are producing maps of the high-risk areas where fishing vessels need to take particular care, information on the practical measures vessels can take, and ways the vessels can demonstrate that the measures are being used correctly and to specification.