Red-Billed Gulls (Photo: David Cook)
The objectives of this project are: to produce a newsletter to communicate protected species-related information to commercial fishermen, to produce media suitable for incorporation into third party publications in order to maximise audience exposure, and, to develop and produce identification tools targeted at commercial fishermen to improve their understanding of protected species interacting with their fishing operations.
To address the first objective, four newsletters have been prepared and circulated during the first year of the two-year project term. Articles covered new, emerging, and best practice bycatch mitigation measures, research underway on mitigation, policy developments, current events, and other protected species information relevant to commercial fishing. Newsletters have included key references, to facilitate access to information additional to that presented.
The newsletter circulation included commercial fishers and others involved in the fishing industry, such as those holding fishing quota and annual catch entitlement, Seafood New Zealand’s Sector Representative Entities and Commercial Stakeholder Organisations, seafood company representatives, Ministry for Primary Industries regional office staff, the New Zealand Federation of Commercial Fishermen, and practitioners working on fisheries bycatch issues.
Throughout this reporting period, the newsletter was distributed in html form via email, via Twitter and Facebook links, as an A4 2-page pdf file distributed electronically, and a hard copy newsletter mailed to recipients who did not have an electronic point of contact or specifically requested a hard copy. Overall, the newsletter reaches approximately 1,575 recipients directly.
The html newsletter was opened by an average of 39.4% of recipients during the year, almost identical to the previous year of the project. Twitter was the fastest growing channel for distribution, with around 200 views (range: 123 – 233) per issue.
The majority of readers were located in New Zealand (87% or more for each issue), with international readers based in Australia, the USA, Canada, Japan, Greece, and Thailand.
To address the third objective of the project, two seabird identification guides previously produced by the Department of Conservation (the Fisher’s Guide to New Zealand Seabirds and the Fisher’s Guide to New Zealand Coastal Seabirds) were updated. These were reprinted in hard copy and as web-quality pdfs.