The New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and the Department of Conservation (DOC) are seeking public comment on a draft National Plan of Action to reduce the incidental catch of seabirds in New Zealand fisheries (NPOA-Seabirds). The development of a new NPOA-Seabirds is the result of the combined efforts of government, environmental non-government organisations and industry.
"The NPOA-Seabirds will provide a framework to inform the management of seabird/fisheries interactions for the next five years. It will also set a number of time-bound objectives to be reached by partnering with the fishing industry to reduce the incidental catch of seabirds."
The consultation document and instructions on how to make a submission can be found on the MPI consultation webpage. The public are invited to make submissions on the NPOA-Seabirds by 21 November 2012.
The following text is taken from the draft plan's Executive Summary:
"...the Plan seeks to ensure that, with the aim of continuous improvement:
i) awareness of the problem and the known methods of reducing it is heightened both domestically and internationally;
ii) relevant effective mitigation methods are applied in all New Zealand fisheries and by New Zealand vessels on the high seas;
iii) capture rates are reducing towards negligible levels in all New Zealand fisheries;
iv) the development of new mitigation measures, new observation and monitoring methods, and relevant research are encouraged and resourced;
v) priority for the application of existing mitigation measures, the development of new mitigation measures and the introduction of other relevant actions are determined in accordance with the level of risk faced by particular seabird species; and
vi) active cooperation is established with other countries whose vessels have interactions with seabirds, particularly those that breed in New Zealand, including through relevant RFMOs and through bilateral information sharing and assistance where relevant."
Chatham Albatrosses: endemic to New Zealand
Phortograph by Graham Robertson
Fisheries Management Directorate, Ministry for Primary Industries 2012. Draft National Plan of Action to Reduce the Incidental Catch of Seabirds in New Zealand Fisheries. MPI Discussion Paper No: 2012/21. 52 pp.
John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 27 October 2012