July 2013
This report investigates methods for reducing net captures of seabirds in the scampi trawl fishery. It documents the fishery, factors effecting likelihood of capture of seabirds and development of a net restrictor device designed to mitigate the risk of seabird captures.

Download the publication

Seabirds congregating around the stern of a scampi trawl vessel
Seabirds around the stern of a scampi trawl vessel

MIT2011/02 Seabird Bycatch reduction in scampi trawl fisheries (PDF, 3,635K)


This project sought to identify potential methods with which to mitigate seabird captures in the New Zealand scampi fishery, test the feasibility and effectiveness of these methods, and make recommendations on future work on seabird bycatch in this fishery.

Through reviewing available information and holding an expert workshop (including representatives from the scampi fishing industry), the researchers identified three areas for work:

  • improving batch discharge regimes to ensure discharge is held on-board during shooting and hauling;
  • improving the design and construction of paired streamer lines;
  • and testing the “restrictor” – a novel approach to reducing seabird captures in scampi nets.

Assessing of the operation feasibility and subsequent testing of the net restrictor was then conducted utilising fisheries observers and underwater cameras.  Video footage of the net restrictor in the water confirmed that the being to the centre net in a triple net rig was reduced by 75% during hauling.


Publication information

This report was commissioned by the Department of Conservation, Project MIT2011-02

By J. P. Pierre, J. Cleal, F. N. Thompson, E. R. Abraham


Conservation Services Programme
Department of Conservation
PO Box 10-420
Wellington 6143


Back to top