New Zealand is the seabird capital of the entire World with lots of species only breeding in here, mainly in the Hauraki Gulf. Most of these seabird species lay only one egg each year and if that fails, they won’t breed or lay again until the following year. Some of these seabird species are now at risk, just like the kiwi.
One of the main risks for seabirds nowadays is fishing, both commercial and recreational. Seabirds can get tangled in fishing line or braid, caught on hooks and tangled in fishing nets.
There are are a few simple steps you can take to avoid any harm done to the seabirds when out fishing:
Avoid Attracting the Seabirds
The birds can smell and see fish from miles away. It’s great if they spot the real deal so you can follow their tail to find the fish, but if they are attracted by the fish on your bait board or the fish caught for dinner lying in the back of the boat, you may find yourself surrounded by birds, unable to get your lure or bait to the fish.
So, simple as that: keep your boat clean, no smell or fish laying around, and you’re a great step ahead of keeping the fishing ground to yourself.
Fish Carefully when surrounded by Seabirds
Make an effort to get your bait or lure down to the fish as fast as possible. A grunty sinker hooked onto your berley bag will send the berley plummeting down fast, away from any diving seabirds. Even when the fishing is hot, keep an eye on the seabirds to anticipate and prevent any tangles or potential harm done to the birds.
Do what is needed to catch the fish, not the birds.
For more information, head to http://southernseabirds.org/