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Fishing for ideas to keep seabirds safe

Southern Seabird Solutions Trust media release, 19 August 2011

Fishing for ideas to keep seabirds safe

Recreational fishers are being asked for effective ways to keep seabirds off hooks and away from boats and baits.

Southern Seabird Solutions Trust has launched a ‘Fishing for Ideas’ competition to reel in tips, techniques and devices that keep seabirds safe during fishing,

Convenor Janice Molloy says the idea is to tap into Kiwi ingenuity.

“This is all about looking for those number 8 wire solutions that are going to help keep our magnificent seabirds out of harm’s way.”

She says New Zealand has more types of seabirds than any other country, and many of the birds that fishers see around their boats travel as far afield as South America, Southern Africa, Australia and the North Pacific.

When seabirds like black petrels and sooty shearwaters return from their travels they are hungry – and both commercial and recreational fishing boats offer an easy source of food for them, with baits in the water.

“We know from our work with the commercial fishing industry that a lot of the best ideas for keeping seabirds away from boats come from fishers, and I'm sure that’s the case too with recreational fishers,” says Janice Molloy.

“This competition is about drawing out those ideas to see if we can turn some of them into really effective techniques.”

The competition closes on 31 October 2011, and details can be found at

First prize is a trip for four out of Leigh with Geordie Murman on Ocean Ranger, and the two runners up will each win a $250 pack of Berkley® gear and a $250 petrol voucher.

Trustee and host of the popular TV series ‘Gone Fishin’, Graeme Sinclair, says seabirds get in harm’s way when they gather around boats and baits.

“They’re great fish-finders but we need to keep them away from our boats and baits,” he says. “It’s good fishing practice and it also makes for a better day’s fishing if we’re not having to worry about seabirds getting accidentally hooked.

“The Fishing for Ideas competition is a great way to capture some of the ideas that are out there, things that people are already doing and things that might work with a bit of development and research.”

“This is a chance to be a part of something really big and to leave a lasting conservation legacy.”


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