28 Apr 2013

Plan to reduce number of seabirds killed

10:01 pm on 28 April 2013

The Government has launched a plan it hopes will reduce the number of seabirds killed by fishing companies.

More than 15,000 seabirds are either drowned by nets, or killed by fishing hooks each year within New Zealand waters.

Non-governmental organisations, fishing companies, their representative organisations, and the Government plan to work to reduce those numbers.

That will involve mitigation measures, more research, better monitoring, and co-operating with other countries that fish near New Zealand waters.

It is hoped that within the next five years there will be a noticeable difference to the fatality statistics.

Forest and Bird hopes fishing companies will start using weighted lines now that the industry has pledged to reduce the number of seabirds killed each year.

Forest and Bird advocacy manager Kevin Hackwell says a technique used world-wide, where lines are weighted and therefore sink faster, is an easy way to stop the birds from being killed.