WWF-New Zealand's submission on the Seabird National Plan of Action (NPOA)
New Zealand is the seabird capital of the world.2 More species of seabirds breed here than anywhere in the world (95 species in total, which is nearly a quarter of all seabird species globally), and over one third of our seabird species are endemic, meaning they only breed in New Zealand (MfE & Stats NZ, 2019). Many of our birds are migratory, ranging across oceans. They come home to our Islands and shores to nest. Aotearoa is their home.
Our seabirds are in trouble, with 90% of species threatened or at risk of extinction. Thousands of seabirds are dying in our commercial fisheries, when they accidentally collide or get caught in the gear (bycatch) within New Zealand waters, on the high sea, and in ocean territories of other countries.
Saving our seabirds will require international collaboration and action, and strong international leadership. WWF-NZ calls on the Government to provide that essential leadership. In order to lead effectively, and advocate strongly for other countries to manage bycatch problems, we must first prove that we are solving our own problems here.