- 24 albatrosses
- 32 shags
- 5 endangered yellow-eyed penguins (hoiho)
- 9 common dolphins, 3 fur seals and 1 great white shark
This is the ‘by-catch’ of set-net fishing boats in our coastal waters in one recent two month period, reports the NZ Herald.
The Ministry of Fisheries has run an observer programme on all New Zealand set-net boats. The by-catch was recorded and the results are much worse than was thought.
24 albatrosses? That blows me away as I’m sure it would anyone who’s ever seen one of these magnificent birds.
The fishing industry and the Department of Conservation continue to “…look at the merits of various ideas to reduce unintended catch”. Some improvement has already been made in managing seabird by-catch but Forest and Bird rightfully continue their call for a nationwide ban on set nets in an effort to further reduce the carnage.
Good work is going on to protect our tiny endangered Hector’s dolphins and the almost extinct Maui dolphins (only 111 left at last count) but is it too late?