Winners of the 2015 Seabird Smart Awards have changed the behaviour of their entire fishing fleet to ensure the wellbeing of seabirds.
Bill Mansfield, chair of the Southern Solutions Seabird Trust, pointed out that New Zealand had an international responsibility to ensure the long term survival of seabirds.
Tom Searle, operations manager of Leigh Fisheries and Mike Black of Talley’s were the main winners. Both have instigated significant change on vessels in the way engagement with seabirds is managed and in raising awareness of the impact of fishing on the birds.
Special awards were given to fisher Wayne Dreadon for championing collaboration with environmental groups and fisheries observer Jamie Willimason for giving fishers a new appreciation of the seabirds they see every day
The Southern Seabird Solutions Trust is a collaboration between seafood industry representatives, the Government, WWF-New Zealand, Te Ohu Kaimoana and recreational anglers to ensure a sustainable future for fishing.