May 2023
This report summarises the outcomes of the Protected Species Liaison Programme for the 2021-22 fishing year (1 Oct 2021 – 30 Sept 2022), including a summary of the inshore and HMS fleets’ adherence to Protected Species Risk Management Plans.


In order to effectively reduce the risk of interactions with protected species, it is important for vessels to be using best practice mitigation and to follow steps laid out by both regulatory and non-regulatory measures. With the support of Fisheries Inshore New Zealand (FINZ), the Conservation Services Programme (CSP) Protected Species Liaison Project aims to increase uptake of best practice mitigation for inshore and Highly Migratory Species (HMS) fishing vessels. This is achieved by building one-on-one relationships, providing advice, and educating fishers on protected species information.

The Liaison programme covers bottom and surface longline, inshore trawl, set net and purse seine fleets, with opportunistic engagement in dredging, jig and Danish seine. There are currently five regionally-focused liaison officers. 

In the 2021-22 fishing year (1 October 2021 - 30 September 2022) the Liaison Programme reviewed 190 PSRMPs and developed a total of 26 new PSRMPs for inshore and Highly Migratory Species (HMS) vessels. A total of 60 PSRMP audits were completed by Observer Services and forwarded on to the Liaison Programme. These comprised of 3 surface longline audits, 8 bottom longline audits, 38 trawl audits and 11 set net audits. 

We received 61 triggers from 28 different vessels. Of the 61 trigger events, 39 were for seabirds. These were largely comprised of white-chinned petrels and flesh-footed shearwaters caught in the SLL and BLL fleets.

Within the coming years the capacity of the programme is expected to grow to provide full outreach to all relevant inshore and HMS fisheries. By the end of the 2021-22 fishing year there were 218 active vessels included in the Liaison Programme, and five Liaison Officers spread throughout the regions. With upwards of 376 vessels active in our prioritised inshore and HMS fleets, more capacity is needed in order to bring the remaining inshore vessels into the Liaison Programme. In addition to this, as cameras roll out there will be an anticipated increase to workload. The Liaison Programme will need to find a balance between Liaison Officer capacity and adequate levels of response.

Publication information

Plencner, T. 2023. CSP Liaison Programme Annual Report 2021-22. Final Report for MIT2021-01, Department of Conservation. 44 p.


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


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