Forest & Bird works with recreational fishers to save seabirds

Forest & Bird is helping New Zealand anglers protect seabirds over Easter weekend, with a new guide on how to keep birds off their hook, and how to safely release snared birds.

The waterproof guide helps fishers identify the most commonly seen and caught birds in the Hauraki Gulf and Bay of Plenty regions.

"The last thing fishers want to do when they’re out on the water is snag a seabird, but up to 30 birds a day are getting tangled or hooked in the Hauraki Gulf and Bay of Plenty region. With more fishers out over Easter weekend the risk to seabirds is even greater," says Forest & Bird's Seabird Liaison Officer, Emma Cronin.

“Forest & Bird's guide provides practical help for fishers to avoid catching seabirds, and how to safely release them if one does get caught.

“More than a third of the world’s seabirds breed in New Zealand. The islands of the Gulf provide an important breeding ground for 25 seabird species and many, such as the black petrel, are extremely rare and only breed in the Hauraki Gulf," says Ms Cronin.

"Fishers can reduce their chances of catching a bird by fishing tidy and fishing fast. Keep all your bait stowed away, only bring out what you need, and don’t discard unused bait or offal until you’ve finished fishing. Get your bait and burly down deep and fast, beyond 6m depth, and take all your rubbish home with you to prevent plastic waste in our oceans."

Click here to download our seabird guide or email e.cronin@forestandbird.org.nz for a free, waterproof copy.