Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

Two commercial fishers plead guilty to ill-treating albatrosses and petrels off New Zealand

Two fishers have been sentenced after pleading guilty to eight charges of wilfully ill-treating seabirds, including albatrosses, between April 2012 and August 2014, while fishing in New Zealand waters.

Some birds were killed and others seriously injured.  The fishers used gaffs to hit seabirds, knocking one unconscious with a “golf swing” while it was next to the vessel.  Birds that came aboard were variously chased, punched, kicked and gaffed, receiving broken wings in some cases. Birds were also sprayed with a high pressure hose.  One albatross was released after a rope was tied around its neck.

The two fishers were sentenced to 125 and 200 hours' community work, respectively and NZ$ 1000 court costs were imposed.

Buller’s Albatross Thalassarche bulleri (Near Threatened) - one of the species mistreated

Photograph by Paul Sagar

Read more details here.

Read of a longline fisher sentenced for causing the deaths of 39 albatrosses by failing to use a bird-scaring line here.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 11 July 2018