Referral Group - International Mitigation Mentoring Programme
This team of seabird and fishing experts, with the guidance of Mitigation Mentor, Barry Baker, helps road-test mitigation ideas with potential as part of the Trust's International Mitigation Mentoring Programme.
They bring access to a wide range of expertise, on topics such as fishing methods and practices, seabird behaviour, marine engineering, at-sea research, product development, fundraising expertise and ways to introduce new practices into fisheries.
"We're aiming to capture the good ideas that are out there in the fishing industry and other places, and turn them into workable solutions that get tested, refined and adopted," says Barry Baker. "I'm delighted to have the Referral Group's expertise available as we develop this work."
Based in Hawaii, Eric Gilman holds a position of Associate Faculty with Hawaii Pacific University, College of Natural and Computational Sciences and is the Tuna Product Procurement Advisor for the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership. Eric's main disciplines are fisheries science and policy, focusing on the governance and mitigation of problematic bycatch in marine capture fisheries. Eric's previous employment has included serving as the Marine Science Advisor with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Global Marine Programme, Visiting Scientist at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Head of Participation of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, Pacific Representative for the National Audubon Society Oceans Program, Special Assistant for the Environment with the Office of the Governor of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Environmental Advisor to the Pohnpei Port Authority of the Federated States of Micronesia.
Eric's publications are on governance of bycatch and discards in marine capture fisheries, gear technology mitigation of bycatch in pelagic fisheries, ecosystem effects of pelagic fisheries, coastal ecosystem responses to climate change, criteria suites for identifying areas of relative biodiversity conservation value, wetlands ecology and management, spatial planning, and community-based management. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Tasmania School of Geography and Environmental Studies, Australia; M.Sc. from Oregon State University Department of Oceanography, USA; and B.A. from Wesleyan University, USA.
Dave Kellian is an inventor and tuna fisherman, well known to many in the New Zealand fishing industry. He has fished in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, using both demersal and pelagic fishing gear. Dave is dedicated to reducing seabird captures and has committed a significant amount of personal time and money to developing new solutions, including his underwater setting bait capsule. Dave has worked as an advisory officer in New Zealand with three different fisheries and during this time, influenced the attitudes and behaviours of many fishermen. He has also developed bird streamer lines (tori lines) that are able to be used by smaller vessels setting at lower setting speeds.
He has a long association with SSST, and in 2006 spent time in Peru sharing experiences and knowledge with artisanal and commercial fisherman under an SSST-supported industry placement. Dave will bring practical fishing experience of demersal and pelagic longline operations to the Referral Group, together with an inventive mind and an understanding of the many barriers likely to be encountered when developing mitigation measures.
Dave Kreutz is an extension agent for OceanWatch Australia's SeaNet program, an environmental extension service to the Australian seafood industry that provides fishers with information and advice on improved fishing gear, technology and methods. For 20 years prior he was a professional fisher in various fisheries, including the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery (ETBF).
During this time Dave invented and trialled the use of road cones to create drag and extend aerial extent of bird scaring lines, an arrangement that has since been adopted and proven successful in fisheries all over the world including pelagic longline, demersal longline and trawl fisheries. Dave's work with fishers extends to finding mitigation solutions for seabirds, turtles and other by-catch species. Dave is also a member Southern Seabird Solutions Trust's Management Committee.
Graham Robertson works in the Wildlife Conservation and Fisheries program at the Australian Antarctic Division. He comes from a background in seabird ecology but for the past 10 years has worked full-time with longline fishing industries to reduce seabird mortality. He has conducted research programmes on demersal (autoline, Spanish and other systems) and pelagic longline fisheries in nine countries. He has published more than 50 papers in technical journals and magazines about bycatch mitigation, albatrosses and other seabirds, principally penguins.
Graham lectures widely, especially on cruise ships visiting Antarctic waters, to raise awareness of the impacts of longline fishing on seabirds and to raise funds for conservation. He was awarded a Pew Marine Conservation Fellowship in 2004 to continue his work on seabird bycatch mitigation, and is currently in the final stages of refining and testing an underwater bait setter for pelagic longline gear.