Fishing's environmental champions

Conservation Minister, Hon Maggie Barry hosted an event at Parliament to recognise this year's Seabird Smart Award winners.

Winners of the 2015 seabird Smart Awards announced.


"The winners of this year’s Seabird Smart awards are the sustainable future of New Zealand fishing", says Bill Mansfield, the Chair of the Southern Seabird Solutions Trust.

The Awards were announced by the Minister of Conservation Hon. Maggie Barry ONZM during an event at Parliament last night. 

“New Zealand is known as the seabird capital of the world. As the breeding grounds for a third of the world’s seabirds species, we have an international responsibility to ensure their long-term survival,” says Bill Mansfield.

“Each of these four men is an environmental champion, and they are leading the way in reinforcing the importance of seabird smart fishing practices amongst the fishing industry. Their passion and actions have positively affected the attitudes and behaviour of others in their fleets. We want to recognise them and thank them for their vision and their work.

“Both the main winners Tom Searle of Leigh Fisheries and Mike Black of Talley’s have influenced the behaviour of a whole fishing fleet and through their leadership have made a significant contribution to seabird conservation.

Two special awards were given this year. “As a fisher, Wayne Dreadon of Whitianga championed fishers working collaboratively with government and environmental groups, and Jamie Williamson, a fisheries observer, helped give fishers a new appreciation of the seabirds they see every day around their vessels.”

The Seabird Smart Awards are supported and sponsored by Sealord Group, Deepwater Group, Ministry for Primary Industries, Fisheries Inshore New Zealand, Aotearoa Fisheries, Harbour Holdings Ltd and the Federation of Commercial Fishermen. The Awards are run by the Southern Seabird Solutions Trust and held every second year. 

Read more about the winners here.

Read the Herald article here.