Monday, July 24, 2017

Diving behaviour of black petrels (Procellaria parkinsoni) in New Zealand waters and its relevance to fisheries interaction

TitleDiving behaviour of black petrels (Procellaria parkinsoni) in New Zealand waters and its relevance to fisheries interaction
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsBell, EA
JournalNotornis
Volume63
Issue2
Pagination57-65
Type of ArticleFull Article
Keywordsblack petrel, bycatch, dive depth, dive duration, Great Barrier Island (Aotea), New Zealand, Procellaria parkinsoni, time-depth recorder
Abstract

The black petrel (Procellaria parkinsoni) is recognised as the seabird species at greatest risk from commercial fishing activity within New Zealand fisheries waters. Despite the fact that valuable mitigation information could be obtained from such data, little is known about the diving ability of this species. Diving data were obtained from electronic time–depth recorders from 22 black petrels breeding on Great Barrier Island (Aotea), Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand, during the early chick rearing period from January-February in both 2013 and 2014. This paper presents the first information on the diving ability of black petrels. The deepest dive recorded was 34.3 m, but maximum dive depths varied considerably among individuals (range 0.8-34.3 m). The majority (86.8%) of all dives were < 5 m and black petrels rarely dived to depths of >10 m. The majority (92.7%) of dives were during the day and time of day had no major effect on dive depth. Only males dived at night, between 2300 and 0200 hours. This information could be used to improve mitigation measures for black petrel and other seabird bycatch in longline fisheries particularly in relation to recommended depths for unprotected hooks and line sink rates. To achieve the recommended minimum 10 m depth for unprotected hooks it has been shown that hooks have to be deployed at 6 knots with a 0.3 m/second line sink rate when using 100 m streamer lines. Adoption of these measures should further reduce black petrel bycatch in longline fisheries.

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