Seabirds near a commercial fishing vessel
This report summarises identification work completed on seabirds incidentally caught and returned for necropsy, using photographs of seabird interactions or using interactions listed in the Ministry of Primary Industries Central Observer Database (“COD”) from commercial fishing vessels in New Zealand waters between 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019.
New Zealand waters support a large and diverse range of seabird species. Much of the commercial fishing activity within New Zealand waters overlap with these seabirds. The accurate identification of seabirds captured in New Zealand fisheries is vital to determine the potential impact of fisheries interaction with these seabird populations. New Zealand Government observers are placed on commercial vessels within New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone in order to investigate interactions with seabird species, including returning whole seabird specimens for necropsy and/or samples from seabirds caught and killed as incidental bycatch during fishing operations.
A total of 664 seabirds were reported as incidental interactions with commercial fishing vessels by on‐board New Zealand Government observers during this observer year. Of these, 247 were returned for necropsy and 417 were interactions (197) or photographed (220) as dead or alive captures.
Bell, E.A., Bell, M.D. 2019. INT2016‐02: Identification of seabirds caught in New Zealand fisheries: 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019. Annual Technical Report to the Conservation Services Programme, Department of Conservation. Wellington, New Zealand. 34 p.