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At sea captures of tākoketai/black petrels and other seabirds using a cast net

Burgin D.1, & Crowe, P.2

1Wildlife Management International Ltd. 96B Middle Renwick Rd, Springlands, Blenheim, 7201.

2 Department of Conservation, Gee Street, Renwick, 7204.

The monitoring of tākoketai/black petrels (Procellaria parkinsoni) has been primarily undertaken on-land at their two breeding colonies located on Aotea/Great Barrier Island and Te-Hauturu-o-Toi/Little Barrier Island. Here, we report on a potential monitoring method, the at-sea capturing of tākoketai from the back of a vessel using a cast net in the waters north-east of the Hen and Chicken, and Mokohinau Island groups, Northland, during in 2021/22. We present results on capture rates, as well as recaptures of tākoketai previously banded at the two known study colonies. Additionally, we report on the suitability of this method for future monitoring work of both tākoketai and other species of seabird, particularly in providing an additional method for estimating population size to complement ground-based surveys. With the poor apparent recruitment of birds back into the breeding population due to at-sea mortality factors such as fisheries-related mortality, we assess whether this method could support risk analyses to assist with reducing long term fisheries bycatch risk.