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National Plan of Action for Seabirds 2020


24 September – Proactive release of briefing and appendices

The Minister of Fisheries and the Minister of Conservation were provided advice from Fisheries New Zealand and the Department of Conservation following consultation on the draft NPOA Seabirds 2020. The briefing provided a high-level overview of common themes in submissions and outlined amendments that had been made in the final NPOA Seabirds 2020. A comprehensive summary of submissions was provided as an appendix to the briefing.

Briefing paper [PDF, 1.9 MB]

Summary of submissions

Appendix 1 [PDF, 1.4 MB]

Appendix 2 [PDF, 23 MB]

Appendix 3 [PDF, 7.1 MB]


27 May 2020 – Plan of action released

Submissions closed on 27 January 2020. More than 3,700 submissions were received from tangata whenua, environmental organisations, the commercial fishing sector, the recreational sector, and members of the public.

The Minister of Fisheries and the Minister of Conservation have approved the National Plan of Action Seabirds 2020. More details are in the ministers’ media release.

Some related documents that were released to accompany the draft National Plan of Action Seabirds 2020 have been updated.

Find updated and related documents – Managing fishing impacts on seabirds

About this consultation

Fisheries New Zealand and the Department of Conservation reviewed the National plan of action – Seabirds (NPOA –seabirds) 2013 and wanted your views on the revised NPOA – Seabirds 2020.

We took advice from the Seabird Advisory Group, which has representatives from government agencies, environmental groups, commercial and recreational fishers, and Te Ohu Kaimoana.

Consultation began on 19 November 2019 and closed on 27 January 2020.

Background information about the National Plan of Action

New Zealand has more species of seabirds than anywhere else in the world. They are a key component of our marine environment and we want to ensure we look after them.

Seabirds face a wide range of threats, including interactions with fisheries. The New Zealand Government’s commitment to reducing interactions with fisheries is set out in the NPOA – Seabirds.

New Zealand issued its first NPOA – Seabirds in 2004, with a second iteration issued in 2013.

The draft NPOA – Seabirds 2020 built on previous iterations. It still set out what we know about seabirds, how they can interact with fishing activity, and how we can reduce captures. In this version, we tried to make sure that the goals and objectives are achievable, measurable, and clear and easily understood. We also tried to simplify how we monitor progress towards achieving the objectives.

The focus of the draft NPOA – Seabirds 2020 was on education and ensuring that all fishers, commercial, recreational, and customary, take all practicable steps to minimise the risk to seabirds. The key components of the draft 2020 action plan were the vision, goals, objectives, and performance measures.

Consultation document

Draft National plan of action (NPOA) – Seabirds 2020 [PDF, 1.2 MB]

Related documents

Although we were only consulting on the draft NPOA – seabirds 2020, we released a package of documents that accompanied and should be read with the plan.

Supporting document for NPOA – seabirds 2020 [PDF, 1.3 MB]

This document provided background to the NPOA – seabirds 2020. It provided more information on seabird populations, how birds interact with fisheries and the risks they face, and how risks can be mitigated. It also provided more information on the approach to implementing the NPOA – seabirds 2020.

Review of the NPOA seabirds 2013 [PDF, 2.4 MB]

The review summarised achievements, problems, lessons learnt, and recommendations from the NPOA 2013.

Implementation plan [PDF, 1.8 MB]

This implementation plan set out the work that will be undertaken during the next 5 years that contributes to achieving the objectives. This implementation plan will be updated annually.

Mitigation standards

Mitigation standards relate to specific commercial fishing methods and set out what is required of effective mitigation practices for those methods. In conjunction with the Seabird Advisory Group, we’ve written 6 mitigation standards. A draft version of a seventh mitigation standard (for set netting) has also been written. We’ve made it available but we intend to review it within the next 12 months. The standards relate to:

Questions and answers

FAQ document [PDF, 78 KB]

Making your submission

Feedback had to be submitted by 5pm on Monday, 27 January 2020.

You could complete an online submission or email or post us your comments.

Submissions are public information

Note, that any submission you make becomes public information. People can ask for copies of submissions under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA says we have to make submissions available unless we have good reasons for withholding them. That is explained in sections 6 and 9 of the OIA.

Tell us if you think there are grounds to withhold specific information in your submission. Reasons might include that it's commercially sensitive or it's personal information. However, any decision MPI makes to withhold information can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may tell us to release it.

MPI may post all or parts of any written submission on its website. We'll consider that you have consented to its publication, unless clearly stated otherwise in your submission.