Social research to understand the drivers and barriers in relation to ACAP best practice mitigation measures in the New Zealand surface longline fishery
A set of mitigation standards have been developed by the New Zealand government that define best practice seabird bycatch mitigation. For the surface (pelagic) longline fishery, the standard matches ACAP’s Best Practice advice. Southern Seabirds is carrying out social science to better understand what types of initiatives or messaging are most likely to affect fisher behaviour in a way that supports the use of best practice mitigation. The overall purpose of the research is to help Southern Seabirds understand what could be done, by who and how, to lead fishers to consistently follow the mitigation standards. We have engaged with experts in the field of social science to design an approach, which included identifying 12 specific objectives around current knowledge, attitudes, and behaviour; motivations and barriers to uptake of mitigation standards; and steps that might encourage compliance with regulations and standards. In-depth hour-long ZOOM interviews are currently being undertaken with fishers. All fishers contacted to date have been willing to participate, and those that have been interviewed have been open and forthright in their interviews.