Longline tuna fishing involves setting lines, which are 100 kilometres long, with thousands of baited hooks. While the line is being laid out and is still near the surface, albatrosses and other seabirds seize the bait, often getting hooked and drowning. An estimated 65,000 albatrosses and petrels have been killed in a 20-year period in New Zealand’s Economic Zone. Deaths also occur around trawling vessels: birds attracted by fish and offal thrown overboard can get caught up in cables. There are measures that can reduce accidental bycatch, but the crews of fishing vessels must be willing to implement them.
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Department of Conservation
Photograph by Nigel Brothers
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