Forest & Bird - Northern Branch

Community Organisation

Forest & Bird - Northern Branch
Forest & Bird Northern Branch P O Box 1375WHANGAREI 0114
39 days ago

Year of the Seabird to target fishing bycatch

Branch Secretary from Forest & Bird - Northern Branch

Add your voice to the call for better fishing rules here:

www.forestandbird.org.nz...

"It shouldn’t be voluntary, it shouldn’t just be up to the industry to decide when they can be bothered and when they can’t. Currently there are no rules around discarding fish waste and offal from … View more
Add your voice to the call for better fishing rules here:

www.forestandbird.org.nz...

"It shouldn’t be voluntary, it shouldn’t just be up to the industry to decide when they can be bothered and when they can’t. Currently there are no rules around discarding fish waste and offal from boats. It’s like a lolly scramble for birds. Of course they’re going to come.”

Conservationists say a plan relying on voluntary - not mandatory - measures to reduce the number of seabirds harmed by commercial fishing won’t be enough to restore populations

They’re less melodious and more threatened than their land-based counterparts.

Ninety percent of New Zealand’s seabird species are threatened or at risk of extinction, compared with 74 percent of terrestrial birds. It’s a chart-topping statistic. No other country in the world has a higher number of threatened seabird species.

But despite their threatened status, it’s estimated around 14,400 seabirds were hooked, captured or killed by commercial fishing boats last year.

In trawl nets the birds get trapped trying to feed on fish and can be hurt or drowned. They can also collide with “warps” - wire ropes holding the nets. In long-line fishing, birds get hooked eating baits, and set nets can entangle diving birds such as petrels and penguins.

Most New Zealand seabirds are protected under the Wildlife Act, but commercial fishing gets a free pass and fishers do not face any punishment for killing birds if it's accidental, or incidental to legal fishing efforts.

There are only a few mandatory measures which must be taken to avoid harming seabirds. Other measures are voluntary.

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39 days ago

Legal challenge over commercial fishing limits for tarakihi

Branch Secretary from Forest & Bird - Northern Branch

It believes Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash was wrongly advised when he set the current limits on commercial fishing for the species.

The issue arose when Mr Nash cut the commercial catch limit for tarakihi by 10 percent in September.

This followed a cut of 20 percent a year earlier.

Mr Nash said… View more
It believes Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash was wrongly advised when he set the current limits on commercial fishing for the species.

The issue arose when Mr Nash cut the commercial catch limit for tarakihi by 10 percent in September.

This followed a cut of 20 percent a year earlier.

Mr Nash said at the time of his September decision that reducing the tarakihi catch was supported by scientific evidence that the number of such fish off the East Coast was very low.

"Tarakihi is an important fishery to a lot of communities and we need to allow it to rebuild," Mr Nash said.

The fishing industry would help out by monitoring and verifying catch limits with cameras on board vessels, he said.

"Further reductions may be introduced if industry are not able to deliver on commitments," Mr Nash added.

"Sustainable use is at the heart of these decisions. They are based on the best available scientific information along with feedback from the community."

But Forest & Bird said it wanted to go to court to challenge Mr Nash's decision, saying tarakihi had been fished to only 15 percent of its of natural prevalence.

"Tarakihi is an important coastal fish, so it is very concerning it has been overfished to this extent," said Forest & Bird chief executive Kevin Hague.

"This is a critically low level. There is clear Government policy that any fish stocks that are overfished to this extent must be rebuilt, and in the case of tarakihi this should happen within a maximum of 10 years."

Forest & Bird said the commercial catch limit did not meet the legal requirements under the Fisheries Act for New Zealand's East Coast tarakihi population.

The conservation organisation also questioned what it called the Minister's reliance on a voluntary plan provided by the fishing industry.

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39 days ago

Pelorus/Te Hoiere Bat Recovery Project

Branch Secretary from Forest & Bird - Northern Branch

Fantastic news from the Pelorus/Te Hoiere Bar Recovery Project! The team have managed to capture 56 long-tailed bats, including several mums and their offspring. This means we now have a wealth of new information about the population of bats roosting in that area. Check out the post below for more … View moreFantastic news from the Pelorus/Te Hoiere Bar Recovery Project! The team have managed to capture 56 long-tailed bats, including several mums and their offspring. This means we now have a wealth of new information about the population of bats roosting in that area. Check out the post below for more info on what we've learnt and the Forest & Bird's Top of the South Bat Recovery Project.

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39 days ago

Koekoeā, the long-tailed cuckoo, makes long-awaited return to Rotorua forest

Branch Secretary from Forest & Bird - Northern Branch

Thanks to seven years of pest-control by Rotorua Canopy Tours, the koekoeā are returning to roost in the Dansey Scenic Reserve near Rotorua.

Rotorua Canopy Tours runs a zipline adventure tourism business at the reserve and has reported native long-tailed cuckoos, or koekoeā, were returning to … View more
Thanks to seven years of pest-control by Rotorua Canopy Tours, the koekoeā are returning to roost in the Dansey Scenic Reserve near Rotorua.

Rotorua Canopy Tours runs a zipline adventure tourism business at the reserve and has reported native long-tailed cuckoos, or koekoeā, were returning to roost in the forest.

General manager Paul Button told RNZ's Summer Report the bird was quite unique.

"A long-tailed cuckoo is quite large for our native birds, it's very similar to the New Zealand falcon - it's very predatory - and it's got a long tail that's kind of speckled brown.

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