Seabird conservation through international cooperation
IntroductionNew Zealand ran a webinar series to promote greater awareness of seabird conservation and the threat of fisheries bycatch.
New Zealand is seeking cooperation with Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies to promote greater awareness of seabird conservation and the threat of fisheries bycatch. This page provides information on the activities organised by New Zealand to inform the Ocean and Fisheries Working Group (OFWG) during APEC 2021.
New Zealand has a special interest in seabird conservation as we are considered the seabird capital of the world. Bycatch in fisheries is one of the greatest threats to seabirds and, as APEC economies, we need to work collectively in the Pacific to improve seabird bycatch mitigation measures in fishing operations in order to protect these magnificent birds.
Watch the webinar series to learn more about seabird bycatch mitigation measures, data collection and the economic drivers to implementing bycatch mitigation measures.
OFWG seabird initative discussion document (PDF, 732K)
NZ seabird conservation background presentation (PDF, 2,923K)
Seabird conservation webinar series
Webinar 1 – Seabird bycatch mitigation
Wednesday 28 July 2021 12:00 NZST/ 00:00 UTC
Webinar 2 – Seabird bycatch data collection and risk assessment
Wednesday 4 August 2021 12:00 NZST/ 00:00 UTC
Webinar 3 – Making money and saving seabirds: an exploratory economic analysis of seabird bycatch reduction
Wednesday 11 August 2021 12:00 NZST/ 00:00 UTC
New Zealand has one of the highest diversities of seabirds and the greatest number of endemic breeding seabird species.
Of the 346 seabird species globally, approximately 145 seabird species occur in New Zealand and its waters. 95 of these species breed in New Zealand, over one third of which do not breed anywhere else in the world.
Seabirds are recognised globally as one of the most threatened groups of birds. Bycatch in fisheries is one of the greatest threats to seabirds, particularly to albatrosses and petrels.
This includes the Antipodean albatross (Diomedea antipodensis antipodensis), one of the world's most threatened albatrosses. Their population has halved since 2004.
Antipodean albatross breed only in New Zealand, but range across the South Pacific from Chile to Australia. Bycatch in high seas fisheries beyond New Zealand waters is the greatest known threat to the Antipodean albatross, in particular bycatch in the pelagic longline fisheries targeting tuna in the South Pacific Ocean.
Many APEC economies have flagged vessels operating within the Antipodean albatross’s foraging range.
International cooperation is critical for the recovery of Antipodean albatross and other seabirds and, as APEC economies, we need to work collectively in the Pacific to improve seabird bycatch mitigation measures in fishing operations, including monitoring and compliance with seabird bycatch mitigation measures set by Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs).
Find out more about Antipodean albatross and some of the tools that fisheries can use to reduce their seabird bycatch in the resources below.
- Longline mitigation measures
- Protected species identification guides
- Protected species handling and release guide
- Antipodean albatross information
Contact for further information
Conservation Services Programme
Department of Conservation
PO Box 10-420