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Supporting our other all blacks

Press Release – Southern Seabird Solutions

Commercial and recreational fishers from the Hauraki Gulf gathered in Leigh today with government officials, environmental groups, and iwi to celebrate the return of the black petrel (tiko) and to sign a pledge to help this threatened species.30 October 2014

Supporting our other all blacks

Commercial and recreational fishers from the Hauraki Gulf gathered in Leigh today with government officials, environmental groups, and iwi to celebrate the return of the black petrel (tāiko) and to sign a pledge to help this threatened species.

The black petrel (tāiko) is making its way home to the Hauraki Gulf after a heroic journey that spans thousands of kilometres across the Pacific Ocean.

In celebrating their return to breed on Great Barrier and Little Barrier Islands, this seabird is getting some extra help from a collaborative group aimed at building a better future for black petrel.

“The Black Petrel Working Group spans fishing and environmental interests and is working collaboratively to develop practical actions aimed at reducing the risk to seabirds from fishing,” says Janice Molloy, convenor of the Southern Seabird Solutions Trust.

The Group’s members signed their Black Petrel Pledge today and outlined a plan that ranges from continuous improvement in seabird smart fishing practices to supporting research to better understand the status and trend of the remaining black petrel population.

“The black petrel is special to the Hauraki Gulf and we want to make sure that seabird smart practices are the norm for anyone fishing on the Gulf, whether commercial or recreational fishers,” says Janice Molloy.

Black petrels once bred in colonies throughout the North Island and parts of the South Island, and numbered in their hundreds of thousands. Introduced predators such as stoats have eliminated all of the mainland colonies and today, fishing activity is the main risk to the species.

Ms Molloy said that the breeding pairs of black petrel had declined steadily with only an estimated 2700 breeding pairs remaining.

“There is a lot of work ahead to bring those numbers up and a collaborative approach is the way forward.”

Membership of the Black Petrel Working Group includes Leigh Commercial Fishermen’s Association, Whitianga Coromandel Peninsula Commercial Fishermen’s Association, Fisheries Inshore New Zealand, Te Ohu Kaimoana, Aotearoa Fisheries Limited, Sanford Limited, Leigh Fisheries NZ, Snapper 1 Commercial Group, Forest & Bird, WWF-New Zealand, Department of Conservation, Ministry for Primary Industries, the Hauraki Gulf Forum, and recreational fishing representatives.

The full Pledge letter can be found here www.southernseabirds.org

Other resources:
See flier outlining practical ways for fishers to avoid attracting seabirds and their safe release if seabirds are caught: http://southernseabirds.org/fileadmin/documents/Products/Rec_anglers_card_website_version_updated_credits.pdf

Open this link to see a film about black petrel and fishing in the Hauraki Gulf: http://southernseabirds.org/resources/sharing-the-hauraki-gulf-fishers-and-black-petrel-dvd/

ENDS

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