Date: 24 April 2013
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has launched the National Plan of Action for Seabirds 2013 today, setting out a firm commitment to protect seabirds from fishing incidents.
“The plan shows there is real determination to improve how we protect our unique seabirds. The Ministry for Primary Industries, the Department of Conservation, the fishing industry, tangata whenua and environmental groups have all worked together on this important strategy.
“Seabirds are considered one of the world’s most threatened bird groupings, and the key threat to seabirds is incidental capture and mortality through fishing operations.
“New Zealand is an important breeding ground for around eighty seabird species including albatross, petrel, penguin and shag species.
“The plan defines objectives for the next five years to prevent, monitor and manage seabird interactions with the fishing industry. It includes plans to:
- Reduce capture rates through continuous improvement in all New Zealand fisheries;
- Ensure effective prevention methods are applied in all New Zealand fisheries and by New Zealand vessels on the high seas;
- Helping develop new mitigation measures;
- Develop new research, observation and monitoring techniques;
- Cooperate with other countries whose vessels interact with seabirds, particularly those that breed in New Zealand.
“This is a high-level framework to help us gain a better understanding of the problem, and deal with it. It will be implemented in the annual operational plans of the Ministry for Primary Industries, and progress will be regularly reviewed and reported on,” says Mr Guy.
Interest groups will be involved in the roll-out of the plan through a special advisory group.
“The government is serious about protecting the rich abundance of seabird species found in our waters.”
- National Plan of Action - Seabirds 2013 - Ministry for Primary Industries website
- More background information on seabirds - Ministry for Primary Industries website
Senior Communictions Advisor
Ministry for Primary Industries
Tel: +64 4 894 5610