Southern Seabird Solutions runs a series of projects each year aimed at reducing harm to seabirds from fishing. We take a collaborative approach to our project work and each year have the opportunity to work with a fantastic and committed range of fishers, iwi, scientists, anglers, fishing companies, agency staff and other organisations.
Our projects are generated from our Strategic Plan 2016-2020 and reported annually via our annual plan process. Read our latest Annual Plan. Our projects are financed and resourced via sponsorship and significant in-kind support.
Seabird Smart Fishing Workshops
Over the past four years we have run a series of interactive workshops around the country for inshore commercial fishers. The workshops aim to build on fishers knowledge of local seabird species and seasonal patterns, provide up to date information on mitigation devices and practices, and build an understanding of why and how looking after seabirds is part of everyday fishing practice. Over 200 fishers have attended workshops to date. In 2016 workshops for commercial fishers will be held in Napier and Northland. We will also be running a training workshop for International Fisheries Officers in Wellington. Further detail on Seabird Smart Training Workshops
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Stock-take of Seabird Mitigation
Fishers need practical mitigation devices and practices that are effective across the range of sea conditions they face. Over the past 10 years, the Trust has run the International Mitigation Mentor Programme to support development of new mitigation devices for the fishing vessels. Two devices, the Kellian line setter and the underwater bait setter, continue to be progressed under this programme.
In 2016 our priority mitigation project is to undertake a stock-take of seabird mitigation methods relevant to NZ. The purpose of this project is to help work out which fisheries are still lacking in practical mitigation options and which new mitigation ideas show most promise. This work will be reported on in September.
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FMA1 Collaborative Black Petrel Working Group
Fisheries Management Area 1 (FMA1) covers inshore waters from East Cape to North Cape. It is an important fishing area for both commercial and recreational fishers. It is also a significant feeding and breeding ground for the rare black petrel.
In 2014 Southern Seabird Solutions set up a collaborative working group including iwi, staff from the fishing companies, government agencies and NGOs with an interest in FMA1. The group signed a pledge to reduce the risk to seabirds from fishing and has undertaken several initiatives towards this goal. For the start of the 2016/17 fishing season (1 October), almost all skippers on vessels in the area will have completed Seabird Smart Fishing Training and have Seabird Management Plans on-board.
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Seabird Smart Recreational Fishing Culture
In 2014 Southern Seabird Solutions received a the Department of Conservation Community Fund grant to undertake a series of projects with recreational anglers to raise the awareness of fishing safely around seabirds. Over the past 18 months we have attended several boating events, presented to sports fishing clubs, run media articles, produced a series of recreational fishing resources and spoken with hundreds of anglers. We have received fantastic support from leaders in the recreational fishing sector and organisations such as MPI, DOC, the NZ Sports Fishing Council/Legasea, Forest & Bird, fishing media and Councils.
Our focus in 2016 is to continue to build support for seabird smart recreational fishing messages and ultimately reduce the rate of capture of seabirds by anglers.
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High Sea's Fishing Vessel Resources
In 2016 our main international project is working with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Fisheries Officers to have seabird mitigation included in the Pacific tuna fleet inspection programme. The officers take fishing masters through a set of talking points, check mitigation gear on-board, leave a multilingual seabird resource and a t-shirt with each skipper (or fishing master). The first series of boarding has gone really well with the information and t-shirt being well received.
Bi-annual and past projects
Every two years the Trust runs the National Seabird Smart Awards. These recognise leaders in seabird smart fishing. The awards will be run in 2017. Further detail on the National Seabird Smart Awards and past recipients.