July 2016
This is the final report on the protected species bycatch newsletter which was produced to communicate protected species-related information to commercial fishers. This project's two-year term has now concluded, with 12 issues of the newsletter produced.


The objective of this project was to produce a bimonthly newsletter to communicate protected species-related information to commercial fishers. Twelve issues were produced over the project's two-year term.

Articles covered best practice mitigation methods, new and emerging mitigation measures, work underway to develop bycatch reduction approaches, current events of relevance to commercial fishers, and other protected species information relevant to commercial fishing.

The target audience for the newsletter comprised commercial fishers and others involved in the fishing industry. In addition, fisheries observers and seabird liaison staff distributed copies to fishers in person, when newsletter items had particular relevance to their activities or the fisheries in which they were deployed.

Throughout this project term, the newsletter was circulated directly to around 1,700 recipients. It was distributed in five forms: as an html newsletter delivered via email, via Twitter and Facebook links, as an A4 2-page pdf file distributed electronically, and a hard copy newsletter mailed to recipients who indicated a preference for this medium or who did not have an electronic point of contact.

Throughout the project term, the html newsletter was viewed electronically by 33 – 43.3% of the emailed recipients (mean = 39%). The html newsletter included an 'unsubscribe' option as well as providing for recipients to update their contact details. Since December 2014, 47 recipients have unsubscribed. Ten 'subscribe' requests were received and 9 recipients have updated their contact details online.

The majority of readers (83 - 94%) were New Zealand-based, with international readers accessing the newsletter from Australia, USA, Japan, Germany, Canada, the Czech Republic and Thailand. In addition, the newsletter's Twitter circulation attracted 57 'opens' on average for each edition (range = 22 - 103).The newsletter's circulation list was constructed using information from Ministry for Primary Industries databases, fisheries stakeholder circulation lists, government agency staff lists, and personal contacts amongst government and industry.

To broaden the audience for key messages regarding protected species interactions with commercial fisheries, the newsletter format could in future be supplemented with the publication of topical articles in industry media and presentations at industry meetings and conferences. This would also provide the opportunity to tailor key messages to particular interest groups (e.g., commercial fishers active in a particular region).

Publication information

Pierre, P. 2016. Protected species bycatch newsletter: Final Report. Report prepared by Johanna Pierre Environmental Consulting Ltd. for the New Zealand Department of Conservation, Wellington. 7p.


Conservation Services Programme
Department of Conservation
PO Box 10-420
Wellington 6143


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