Black petrel

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All blacks home

By . Photography by Elizabeth Bell. 2015 september

Black petrels are due back in the Gulf over the next month and the commercial long-line fleet are trained and ready.

Each of the 55 commercial boats fishing around the Gulf has a trained ‘seabird smart’ skipper, a seabird management plan and mitigation devices on-board. Black petrels are superb divers and can get hooked if they can see and reach baits.

They spend winter off South America and around 2000 pairs come home each year to breed on Great Barrier Island, and a smaller satellite colony on Hauturu/ Little Barrier.

A series of events is planned to mark the return of migratory seabirds and spread the word about how we can look after them while they’re here.