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Proposed changes to the mandatory seabird mitigation measures for commercial fishers using surface longlining

UPDATE – 26 April 2023

Consultation extended

Consultation on proposed changes to the mandatory seabird mitigation measures for surface longlining has been extended by 2 weeks. Submissions must now be received by 5pm on Friday, 12 May 2023.  

Have your say

Fisheries New Zealand has reviewed the Fisheries (Seabird Mitigation Measures – Surface Longlines) Circular 2019.

We're seeking feedback from tangata whenua and stakeholders on proposed changes. The circular states the mandatory seabird mitigation measures applicable to commercial fishers using the surface longlining method of fishing within New Zealand waters.

A summary of the proposed options is on this page and full details are in the consultation document.

You can make submissions between 27 March and 28 April 2023.

Consultation document

Review of the Fisheries (Seabird Mitigation Measures – Surface Longlines) Circular 2019 [PDF, 477 KB]

Related document

Fisheries (Seabird Mitigation Measures – Surface Longlines) Circular 2019

What's being proposed?

Commercial fishers using surface longline are required by law to use a number of mitigation practices to reduce the risk of fishing operations to seabirds. These mandatory practices are set out in the Fisheries (Seabird Mitigation Measures – Surface Longlines) Circular 2019 and include that during setting, fishers must either:

  • use hook-shielding devices on all hooks, or
  • deploy a legal tori (streamer) line, and either set at night, or line weight to legal specifications.

Additional voluntary best practice measures are described in the mitigation standards for surface longline operations. This includes additional measures such as simultaneous use of tori (streamer) lines, line weighting, and night setting, known as "three out of three". This consultation seeks feedback on potential changes to the circular which will better align it with the voluntary measures set out in the mitigation standards.

Mitigation standards to reduce the incidental captures of seabirds in New Zealand commercial fisheries [PDF, 722 KB]

Options proposed in this consultation

  • Option 1: Regulatory status quo.
  • Option 2: Mandate additional "best practice" seabird mitigation measures.
  • Option 3: Spatial/temporal use of "three out of three" (or hook-shielding devices).
  • Option 4: Mandate "three out of three" (or hook-shielding devices) at all times.

Making your submission 

Email your feedback on the consultation document by 5pm on 12 May 2023.

We encourage you to use the  submission template [DOCX, 78 KB]

Email your submissions to

While we prefer email, you can post your submission to:

Ministry for Primary Industries
ATTN: HMS and Pacific Fisheries
Private Bag 12031
Tauranga 3143.

Submissions are public information

Note that all, part, or a summary of your submission may be published on this website. Most often this happens when we issue a document that reviews the submissions received.

People can also ask for copies of submissions under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA says we must make the content of submissions available unless we have good reason for withholding it. Those reasons are detailed in sections 6 and 9 of the OIA.

If you think there are grounds to withhold specific information from publication, make this clear in your submission or contact us. Reasons may include that it discloses commercially sensitive or personal information. However, any decision MPI makes to withhold details can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may direct us to release it.

Official Information Act 1982 – NZ Legislation