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Save the Albatross with better fishing practices

24 January 2002

Save the Albatross with better fishing practices - Greens

Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons is encouraging the fishing industry to get behind a Save the Albatross Campaign launched by Prince Charles in London.

"This is the perfect opportunity for the New Zealand fishing industry to commit to using fishing practices which do not result in seabird deaths, including albatrosses" she said.

Ms Fitzsimons said the recent episode where over 300 seabirds were killed by one New Zealand vessel long-line fishing for ling had brought home the high cost to our seabirds where care is not taken.

"Using methods such as fishing in darkness and baits which sink can reduce the chances of killing albatrosses and other rare seabirds while in the Southern Ocean.

"More observers on fishing boats and stricter deterrents would help make sure that boats are fishing responsibly," she said.

Ms Fitzsimons said in the last five years, around 90,000 albatrosses had been killed by long-line fishing in the Southern Ocean, and some species could be extinct in the next ten years.

"It is devastating to think we could lose some of the species of this majestic bird, which has always had a special place in the stories of sailors, when their extinction could be avoided simply through better fishing practices.

"Just as consumers are becoming more aware of the animal welfare issues surrounding production farming, consumers are starting to open their eyes to the downside of intensive commercial fishing practices. Now would be a great time for the fishing industry to show they care about their environmental impact beyond just keeping fish stocks viable for harvest."


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