Pursuant to Regulations 58 and 58A of the Fisheries (Commercial Fishing) Regulations 2001, the Fisheries Manager Highly Migratory and Pelagic, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (acting pursuant to a delegated authority in accordance with section 41 of the State Sector Act 1988) gives the following circular.
C i r c u l a r
1. Title-This circular is the Fisheries (Seabird Sustainability Measures-Surface Longlines) Circular 2011.
2. Commencement-This circular comes into force the day after its notification in the New Zealand Gazette.
3. Interpretation-In this circular:
"Act" means the Fisheries Act 1996;
"nautical dawn" means the time at sunrise when the centre of the sun is at a depression angle of 12 degrees below the ideal horizon for the place;
"nautical dusk" means the time at sunset when the centre of the sun is at a depression angle of 12 degrees below the ideal horizon for the place;
"set", in relation to a surface longline, means releasing the surface longline into the water;
"surface longline" means a line to which a hook or hooks (whether baited or not) are attached, and that is:
(a) suspended by floats; and
(b) not attached to the sea floor;
"streamer line" means the type of bird scaring device, also known as a tori line, as described in clause 6 of this circular.
4. Restrictions on use of surface longlines-No commercial fisher may set surface longlines to take fish, aquatic life or seaweed within New Zealand fisheries waters between the hours of 0.5 hours before nautical dawn and 0.5 hours after nautical dusk, unless line weighting is employed in accordance with clause 5 of this circular.
5. Line weighting-(1) For the purposes of clause 4, a metal weight of 45g or more must be attached for every hook deployed.
(2) The position of the weight must correspond to one of the following:
(a) Weights less than 60g must be within 1 metre of the hook; or
(b) weights of 60g-98g must be within 3.5 metres of the hook; or
(c) weights greater than 98g must be within 4 metres of the hook.
6. Streamer line required if surface longlines used-If a commercial fisher uses a surface longline to take fish, aquatic life or seaweed within the New Zealand Fisheries waters, the commercial fisher must:
(a) carry a streamer line on board the vessel used by the commercial fisher; and
(b) use the streamer line in accordance with clause 7; and
(c) permit inspection of the seabird scaring device on board the vessel used by the commercial fisher at any reasonable time by a fisheries officer or an observer appointed under section 223(2) of the Act.
7. Streamer line specifications-(1) The streamer line must meet the following specifications:
(a) The streamer line must be attached to the vessel so that when deployed the baits are protected by the streamer line, even in cross winds;
(b) The streamer line must be a minimum of 100 metres in length;
(c) If a streamer line is less than 150 metres in length, a towed object must be attached to the end of the streamer line so that the aerial extent of the line is maintained over the sinking baited hooks;
(d) The streamer line must achieve a minimum aerial extent of 50 metres;
(e) Streamers must be brightly coloured, and must be spaced at a maximum of 5 metres, commencing not more than
5 metres from the stern of the vessel and extending thereafter along the aerial extent of the line. When a streamer line is deployed, each of the streamers must reach the sea surface in the absence of wind and swell. Streamer length will therefore vary depending on the height of their attachment point above the water;
(f) The streamer line must be suspended from a point on the vessel at least 5 metres above the water in the absence of swell;
(g) If the streamer line that is in use breaks or is damaged, it must be repaired or replaced so that it meets these specifications before any further hooks enter the water.
(2) The specifications do not apply to additional or secondary seabird scaring devices fishers may choose to use (such as a second tori or streamer line).
8. The Schedule-(1) The Schedule provides further guidelines on the design and deployment of streamer lines as seabird scaring devices.
(2) The Schedule is not part of the specifications.
(3) If there is any inconsistency between the guidelines in the Schedule and the specifications, the specifications prevail.
(4) The streamer line needs to protect baited hooks from seabirds. This means that the streamer line should be positioned in such a way that streamers are flapping in an unpredictable fashion, above the area in which the baited hooks enter the sea, so that seabirds are deterred from attempting to take bait from the hooks. In order to achieve this even during cross-winds, it is expected fishers will have to make adjustments to the configuration of the streamer line depending on the conditions.
(5) It is generally recognised as best practice to maximise the aerial extent of the streamer line, because this maximises the area in which the baited hooks are protected from seabirds. Best practice would be to achieve an aerial extent of 100 metres. In order to maximise aerial extent, it is necessary to create tension in the streamer line. This can be achieved by:
(a) towing an object on the terminal end of the streamer line; or
(b) towing extra length of streamer line; or
(c) increasing the diameter of the in-water section of the streamer line.
(6) The towed object could be a cone or buoy, a section of heavy rope, or any other object that creates sufficient drag to maintain the streamer line’s aerial extent.
(7) In order to be effective at scaring seabirds away from the line of baited hooks, the streamer lines should not become tangled, either with each other or with the branch-line. Each streamer shall be attached to the streamer line in a manner to prevent fouling of individual streamers with the streamer line, and to ensure individual streamers reach the waterline in the absence of wind or swell. Swivels or a similar device can be placed in the streamer line in such a way as to prevent streamers being twisted around the streamer line. Each streamer may also have a swivel or other device at its attachment point to the streamer line to prevent fouling of individual streamers.
(8) Streamers are to be spaced at 5 metre intervals along the aerial extent of the line. The total number of streamers in use will vary depending on how the line is configured. Streamers that are hanging in the water can be prone to tangling. Because the far end of the streamer line will frequently be in the water, fishers may not wish to have streamers the whole way down the line. However, it is important that streamers are present to deter birds from taking baited hooks all along the part of the line that remains above water, as outlined in the specifications.
(9) To ensure streamers are visible to birds, they should stand out against the surroundings. Streamers should be made of brightly coloured fluorescent plastic tubing or other material. Bright colours such as red, yellow, orange or pink are most effective during day setting. For night setting, the streamers should be of a colour that contrasts with the surroundings. Colours such as blue and green are less likely to be effective, because they are less likely to be highly visible to birds.
(10) In order to comply with the Regulations, a streamer line must be used when setting surface longlines. If the streamer line that is in use breaks or is damaged, it must be repaired or replaced so that it meets these specifications before any further hooks enter the water. For this reason, a complete additional streamer line should be carried as a spare.
9. Revocation-The following notice is revoked:
Fisheries (Seabird Scaring Devices Minimum Standard and Procedures) Notice 2007 (No. F414)*
Dated at Wellington this 26th day of October 2011.
STEPHANIE HILL, Acting Fisheries Manager Highly Migratory and Pelagic, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
*New Zealand Gazette, 15 November 2007, No. 123, page 3237