NZ seabird protection plan launched
New Zealand has launched an action plan to protect seabirds
New Zealand has launched the ‘National Plan of Action for Seabirds 2013’, setting out a firm commitment to protect seabirds from fishing incidents.
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said that New Zealand is an important breeding ground for around 80 seabird species including albatross, petrel, penguin and shag species. Seabirds are considered one of the world’s most threatened bird groupings, with the biggest threat being incidental capture and mortality through fishing operations.
The plan defines objectives for the next five years to prevent, monitor and manage seabird interactions with the fishing industry. Key points of the plan include reducing capture rates through continuous improvement in all New Zealand fisheries; ensuring effective prevention methods are applied in all New Zealand fisheries and by New Zealand vessels on the high seas; helping develop new mitigation measures; developing new research, observation and monitoring techniques; and cooperating with other countries whose vessels interact with seabirds, particularly those that breed in New Zealand.
“This is a high-level framework to help us gain a better understanding of the problem, and deal with it. It will be implemented in the annual operational plans of the Ministry for Primary Industries, and progress will be regularly reviewed and reported on,” said Mr Guy.
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