Plan to save seabirds heralds changes to fishing practises
April 2013. The New Zealand Government has released a statement of intent to save native seabirds, including endangered albatrosses and petrels, from being killed by commercial and non-commercial fishing activity. The statement is much welcomed by NZ conservation body, Forest & Bird.
15,000+ seabirds die annually from coming into contact with commercial fishing operations
The National Plan of Action for Seabirds (NPOAS) was released by the Ministry for Primary Industries. Forest & Bird was part of the stakeholders' committee that formulated the NPOAS, along with representatives of the fishing industry. The latest assessment estimates that more than 15,000 seabirds die annually from coming into contact with commercial fishing operations inside New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone alone.
|Every one of New Zealand’s 10 endemic albatross species is under|
severe threat from the fishing industry - Photo: Craig McKenzie
6 species at ‘very high risk'
Six species in the new risk assessment are considered to be at "very high risk" from fishing activity, including the black petrel and the flesh-footed shearwater.
"Forest & Bird is pleased that the Minister for Primary Industries has decided that an initial priority is to create a species-specific action plan for the black petrel. This species only breeds on Great Barrier and Little Barrier islands, and is at risk from commercial and recreational fishers, particularly in the Hauraki Gulf," says Forest & Bird's Seabird Advocate, Karen Baird.