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Seafood industry and conservation groups to protect seabirds

15 July 2014

New film shows seafood industry and conservation groups working together to protect seabirds

The New Zealand seafood industry congratulated Southern Seabird Solution Trust’s on its short film “Sharing Worlds, Seabirds and Fishing” which was launched today by the Hon Nick Smith, the Minister of Conservation at the Royal Albatross Centre on the Otago Peninsula.

The film highlights Otago fishing and conservation working together for the benefit of seabirds like the yellow-eyed penguin and sooty shearwater, also known as titi.

“The film is a tangible demonstration of how organisations, often with differing interests, can work together in a positive and proactive way,” says George Clement, Chair of Seafood New Zealand who was at the launch.

“Our industry sees real value in collaborating with organisations like the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust to find long-term and effective solutions in how we protect marine wildlife, including seabirds,” says Mr Clement.

The film was produced by the Southern Seabird Solutions Trust which works with professional skippers and crew and recreational anglers to reduce harm to seabirds through fishing. The seafood industry is a major sponsor and supporter of the Trust.

The film shows Otago fishers from the Port Chalmers Fishermen’s Cooperative helping the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust and local Department of Conservation staff monitor the yellow-eyed penguin chicks on the Catlins coast.

The film also highlights existing mitigation measures used by the fishers to minimise the risks to seabirds.

Ant Smith, a Dunedin skipper, has a starring role in the film, and took Dave McFarlane of the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust out for a day on his vessel.

“We don’t want to catch seabirds and have come up with some simple but effective ways to avoid them,” says Ant. That includes making sure all offal is kept on board in bins until the fishing gear is out of the risk zone for seabirds and an innovative ‘cone’ invented by the Mitchell brothers from Timaru, to keep seabirds safe around the trawl wires.

For Dave McFarlane the fishing experience proved invaluable. “Seeing how the fishermen worked in their environment and the mitigation techniques they use now to try and reduce the interaction with seabirds was a great experience.”

To view the film: http://southernseabirds.org/resources/sharing-worlds-seabirds-and-fishing-otagosouthland-dvd/

For more information visit www.seafood.org.nz

The DVD is generously sponsored by:
• Port Chalmers Fishermen's Cooperative
• Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust
• Southern Inshore Fisheries Management Co. Ltd
• Otago Community Trust
• NZ Federation of Commercial Fishermen
• Community Trust of Southland
• Otago Peninsula Trust
• Ngai Tahu Seafood
• Harbour Fish
• Elm Wildlife Tours

ENDS

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