March 2011
Read a summary of protected species interactions observed in the inshore snapper demersal longline fishery during the period 2001-07.


In order to understand the interactions between marine protected species and the demersal longline snapper (Pagrus auratus) fishery in New Zealand’s Fisheries Management Area 1 (FMA 1), government observers have been placed on vessels fishing the area since 2001.

This study considered the period 2001–07, during which 584 longlines, totalling 715 000 hooks, were observed. A maximum observer coverage of about 2% of all hooks set in this fishery was achieved in 2004 and 2005.

During the 2001–07 period, observers recorded 37 protected seabirds incidentally killed by the fishing operations; 12 live bird captures on fishing gear; one green turtle live capture on the fishing gear; and a further ten live bird interactions associated with fishing events. Mortalities included species of high conservation concern.

Although the limited extent of data recorded meant that it was not possible to fully analyse all relevant factors relating to protected species bycatch in this fishery, simple analysis of the data highlighted that the use of proven mitigation techniques such as tori lines and setting lines at night (not close to full moon) reduced the seabird bycatch rate.

A relatively large proportion of the seabird mortalities observed were in the early years of the study period, when tori line use was not common.

We make recommendations for future monitoring of this fishery and use of mitigation techniques.

Publication information

ISSN 1179–3147 (web PDF)

ISBN 978–0–478–14850–3 (web PDF)

DOC Marine Conservation Services Series is a published record of scientific research and other work conducted to guide fisheries management in New Zealand, with respect to the conservation of marine protected species. This series includes both work undertaken through the Conservation Services Programme, which is funded in part by levies on the commercial fishing industry, and Crown-funded work.


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


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