The South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation will consider a seabird bycatch mitigation measure at its 2nd Commission Meeting this week

The South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO) is an intergovernmental organisation committed to the long-term conservation and sustainable use of the fishery resources of the South Pacific Ocean and in so doing safeguarding the marine ecosystems in which the resources occur.  The Organization is holding its Second Commission Meeting in Manta, Ecuador over 27-31 January (click here for the provisional agenda)

At the meeting New Zealand will present a proposal for a Conservation and Management Measure to reduce seabird bycatch within waters covered by the Convention.  The proposal takes note of best-practice seabird bycatch mitigation measures for trawl and demersal longline fisheries established by ACAP.

The proposed measure if adopted will aim to minimise the incidental interaction with seabirds in demersal longlines by demersal longline vessels implementing the combined use of the following measures:

Use of an appropriate line-weighting regime to maximise hook sink rates close to vessel sterns to reduce the availability of baits to seabirds;

Actively deterring birds from baited hooks by means of bird-scaring lines; and

Setting at night between the times of nautical twilight (as illustrated).

Best-practice seabird mitigation specifications proposed for trawl fishing include deployment of twin bird-scaring lines as well as avoiding discharges during both shooting and hauling.

The Albatross and Petrel Agreement will be represented at the meeting by its Executive Secretary, Warren Papworth.


New Zealand 2014.  Proposed Conservation and Management Measure for minimising bycatch of seabirds in the SPRFMO Convention AreaCOMM-02-08.  9 pp.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 28 January 2014

The Agreement on the
Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

ACAP is a multilateral agreement which seeks to conserve listed albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters by coordinating international activity to mitigate known threats to their populations.

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