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Fishers To Get Seabird Conservation Video

Fishers To Get Seabird Conservation Video

Fishers in New Zealand and South America are being given copies of a new seabird conservation video which highlights ways to fish without accidentally killing seabirds.

The 20-minute video ‘Fishing the Seabird Smart Way’ has been made by the Southern Seabird Solutions Trust, an alliance of fishing companies, environmental groups, government departments, seabird researchers and eco-tourism operators.

This group works cooperatively to reduce the number of fishing-related seabird deaths in the southern hemisphere.

The Convenor of Southern Seabird Solutions, Janice Molloy, who also coordinates the Department of Conservation’s seabird conservation programme, says the video is being distributed to fishing boats throughout New Zealand and is being translated into Spanish for distribution to fishing fleets in Chile and Peru.

New Zealand, Chile and Peru have a number of seabirds in common, such as Chatham Island albatrosses and black petrels. These birds breed on the offshore islands and waters around New Zealand but spend much of their adult lives in countries such as Chile.

“We know that fishers don’t like hooking seabirds – they’d rather be catching fish - and our video describes a range of techniques to reduce the chances of seabirds being accidentally caught,” says Ms Molloy.

“We’ve used fishers within the New Zealand fishing industry who are committed to solving the problem of accidental seabird deaths to talk about the issue to other fishers, both in New Zealand and overseas.

“The good news is that solutions do exist, it’s just a case of fishers adapting these to suit the circumstances of their own particularly vessels. We’re hoping that the video will encourage experimentation and spark exchanges of information, technology and experience throughout the southern hemisphere.”

The video was made as a result of funding primarily from the Department of Conservation and the Seafood Industry Training Organisation.

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