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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 551:249-260 (2016)  -  DOI:

Overlap between flesh-footed shearwater Puffinus carneipes foraging areas and commercial fisheries in New Zealand waters

Susan M. Waugh1,*, Samantha C. Patrick2,3, Dominique P. Filippi4, Graeme A. Taylor5, John P. Y. Arnould6

1Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, PO Box 467, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
2University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham GL50 4AZ, UK
3School of Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool, Jane Herdman Building, Liverpool L69 3GP, UK
4Sextant Technology Ltd., 116 Wilton Road, Wellington 6012, New Zealand
5Department of Conservation, PO Box 10-420, Wellington 6143, New Zealand
6Deakin University, School of Life and Environmental Sciences (Burwood Campus), 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, Victoria 3125, Australia
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Although the flesh-footed shearwater Puffinus carneipes is a species with large population sizes (tens of thousands of breeding pairs) and widespread sub-tropical distribution across Australasian water masses, it is among the species most threatened by longline fisheries mortality in this region. While bycatch mitigation measures have been very successful in reducing mortality in some species, bycatch of flesh-footed shearwaters is still high, with captures estimated to exceed the sustainable take of 514 birds yr-1 by nearly 200 birds for New Zealand fisheries alone. Management agencies aiming to reduce the impact of fisheries mortality on the populations need to understand which marine areas are being used by flesh-footed shearwaters to better target fishery monitoring and mitigation efforts. Foraging studies of seabirds tell us about their use of resources, i.e. the way species segregate the available habitat and help to identify threats that may affect population viability. Breeding shearwaters were tracked from 2 New Zealand colonies using GPS loggers. Individuals foraged over shelf and deep oceanic waters up to 1200 km from their nesting sites during incubation but were mainly within 370 km during early chick rearing. The intensity of potential interactions increased for trawl and surface longline fishing between the January and February study periods but remained at a similar level for bottom longline fishing. Following the field data collection, changes to fishery monitoring were implemented in the areas where shearwaters foraged.

KEY WORDS: Fisheries interactions · Oceanic · Foraging · Bycatch · Seabird

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Cite this article as: Waugh SM, Patrick SC, Filippi DP, Taylor GA, Arnould JPY (2016) Overlap between flesh-footed shearwater Puffinus carneipes foraging areas and commercial fisheries in New Zealand waters. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 551:249-260.

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