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Sea bird carnage continues: bird advocates

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 14/07/2016

Prosecuting a commercial fisherman for the deaths of 38 albatrosses isn't enough to stop sea bird carnage, environmentalists say.

Forest & Bird wants better regulations to save the birds, though it has welcomed charges laid against a fisherman who allegedly caught 38 albatrosses while fishing for southern bluefin tuna.

He faces a $100,000 fine for allegedly failing to use a tori line, a mandatory device that would have scared the birds away from baited hooks.

The Ministry for Primary Industries is also introducing new mandatory mitigation techniques including line-weighting of surface longlines.

But Forest & Bird wants more.

"We urge them to go further and adopt recognised international best practice by requiring al three mitigation methods of line weighting, tori lines and night-time fishing, together," the group's sea bird advocate Karen Baird said.

"Without full commitment from MPI to properly regulate and monitor this industry, we expect that the annual sea bird carnage will continue but most of it will go unreported and undetected, something these majestic ocean-going birds cannot afford."

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