Non-Target Species

Most fishing methods result in the catch of species that are not targeted by the fisher (bycatch). Non-targeted fish species that are in the QMS (discussed below) cannot generally be discarded at sea and must be landed. In general, this bycatch is a more serious problem for fishing nets (including gillnets and trawling) than for hook and line methods and fish traps which are more selective.

Of particular environmental concern is the capture of protected species such as marine mammals, seabirds and turtles in fishing gear. Dolphins, fur seals and sea lions can become entrapped in fishing nets, with some being released successfully and others drowning. Seabirds are attracted to baited hooks in long line fisheries and can get hooked or tangled in the line and drown. Others can become entangled in trawling gear, both the net and the cables towing the net. A high proportion of marine mammal and seabird species in New Zealand are vulnerable or endangered. All except black-backed gulls have protected status.

Last updated at 12:27PM on November 23, 2017