Are you going out fishing this easter weekend? You might want to look out for seabirds and teach the adults you’re with how to protect them from nets and hooks.
New Zealand is the “seabird capital of the world” because we have more threatened seabirds than anywhere else in the world. There are about 14 million pairs of breeding seabirds in total!
This time of year, many seabirds are returning to New Zealand to breed. And they will need to feed themselves and their chicks.
Seabirds help you while you’re fishing – their behaviour can tip you off to what fish are around. If you see lots of them on the surface of the water, diving down deep, you know there may be fish there!
But we must also help them. They’re attracted to fishing boats, and risk getting tangled or hooked in gear. Some species are so threatened that even a single bird’s death really matters to survival.
So what can you do? Ask the adults around you to learn how to unhook or untangle a seabird when they accidentally catch them. Or teach them these top tips for keeping seabirds away from the boat..
Keep decks clean and put bait scraps and fish waste in covered bins
Sink bait and burley well below the birds. (Most birds dive to 6 metres.
Deter or distract birds – create a safe zone, away from the birds, to get fishing gear up and down.
You could also download and print our handy guide and take it on your next fishing trip! It will show you how to avoid catching seabirds and what to do if you do. It even includes a guide to the Seabirds of the Hauraki Gulf and Bay of Plenty.