Summary

New Zealand has been utilising and refining a spatially explicit assessment of risk to seabirds from commercial fishing since 2009. This framework has been applied to the main fishing methods; trawl, surface and bottom longline and setnet, within the New Zealand Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). New Zealand has been intending to extend this risk assessment framework to a broader set of fisheries, as seabirds migrate widely and interact with a wide range of fisheries across multiple EEZ and Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs).

This paper presents progress on the extended risk assessment framework to date, applying the methodology to public tuna RFMO fishing data from throughout the Southern Hemisphere. Seabirds included in the risk assessment were 26 species that breed in the Southern Hemisphere and are listed under the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels.