Seafood New Zealand supports the prosecution of a commercial fishing boat skipper over the death of albatross at sea.

“Industry is very disappointed in this skipper’s actions that were totally out of line. We support the Ministry for Primary Industries in the action they have taken against him,” says Chief Executive Tim Pankhurst.

“There is no excuse for his behaviour. He was required to use a tori line, a device using streamers to scare off birds.

“We are committed to ensuring that fishing does its part to prevent seabird capture and have introduced a raft of measures to protect seabirds.

“We support the National Plan of Action for seabirds, a collaborative effort involving government, NGOs and industry that has resulted in mitigating seabird capture.

“We also support and fund the Southern Seabird Solutions Trust, which works with fishermen to reduce the harm to seabirds through fishing. 

“Industry is continually looking for innovative ways to mitigate risk to seabirds. For example, industry recently participated in a DOC project to improve tori line materials and performance on small coastal longliners – these improvements will be taken up in the coming year,” Tim Pankhurst says.

For more information about industry initiatives to reduce harm to seabirds go to the latest issue of Seafood magazine (pages 26-30).