International Fishers Forum In Auckland
24 October 2000
A world first, an international forum which provides an opportunity for fishers to help solve the problem of the incidental capture of seabirds, will be held in Auckland from 6-9 November.
Jointly hosted by the Seafood Industry Council, Ministry of Fisheries and the Department of Conservation, the forum will involve fishers, scientists and government representatives from around the world.
"The incidental capture of seabirds concerns everyone, from fishers to scientists to the general public, and fishers are working hard to develop techniques and tools to prevent it," said Brent Marshall of Moana Pacific Fisheries Ltd, one of the forum organisers.
Science Policy Analyst for the Ministry of Fisheries Jacqui Burgess said the International Fisher's Forum would bring people together to discuss the issues, exchange practical information, and develop a set of tools that could help fishers world-wide minimise the incidental capture of seabirds.
The forum will have a practical focus and an informal atmosphere, so participants will feel comfortable sharing information and exchanging ideas.
"Understanding seabird behaviour, such as diving and methods of locating prey is essential to finding practical solutions that work," said Department of Conservation marine specialist Mike Donoghue.
"This forum is different because it will include interactive sessions with fishers who have practical hands-on experience, while previous meetings have been limited to diplomats and scientists."
The keynote speaker at the forum will be Ambassador Satya Nandan, Secretary General of the International Seabed Authority. His address will provide an international perspective on the development of a co-ordinated approach to the issue of incidental seabird capture. Other speakers will include albatross researchers, fishers, technical experts and fishing company managers.
Fishers will present overviews of their fisheries, report on mitigation methods tested on their vessels and contribute ideas on what operational aspects of longline fishing need to be taken into consideration when developing new mitigation measures.
Countries which have confirmed attendance are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, People's Republic of China, Falkland /Malvinas Islands, France, Indonesia, New Zealand, South Africa, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Uruguay and Alaska, Hawaii and the USA.
For further information please contact
Mike O'Donoghue, DoC, Phone 021 870 310