Fisheries Infosite

Environmental Issue

 Inshore trawl - Seabird interactions

Birds are attracted to small inshore trawl vessels. Some birds get hit by or collide with trawl warps or are caught in the trawl net when it is near the surface.
Current information suggests inshore trawling may be a risk to seabird populations, some of which are considered threatened or endangered.
Extent of the issue
New Zealand has a significant inshore trawl fleet with limited observer coverage. So we have relatively poor information on seabird deaths in these fisheries. However, observer coverage on inshore trawl vessels has been increased in 2009.
Current management
The government and industry are currently investigating the nature and extent of seabird deaths in inshore trawl fisheries, and ways to mitigate this.
Future management
Fishing-related risks for all New Zealand seabird species will be assessed as part of New Zealand's National Plan of Action (NPoA) to reduce seabird capture in fisheries. Treatment plans will be developed where risks are considered above 'acceptable' levels. 
Documents / links
Documents around NPOA seabirds / seabird standard.