Foes put differences aside to save rare bird

A rare native bird is facing a brighter future now the fishing industry and conservationists have put aside their differences in a bid to save them.

Endangered Black Petrels are facing a brighter future. Source: 1 NEWS

Black petrels, which migrate from the Hauraki Gulf to South America each year, are often killed when they congregate around fishing boats.

The new agreement sees fisherman being educated on the best ways to deal with the birds as well as new means of deterring them from approaching boats.

"I think it's certainly a step in the right direction especially when you can pull such a diverse group of people around a table," says Dave Moore, of the Leigh Commercial Fishermen's Association.

Hundreds of thousands of black petrels once nested across the North Island until predators reduced their numbers. Now there are fewer than 3000 breeding pairs, which only nest on the Little and Great Barrier islands.

A dozen organisations, including the Government, have also signed a pledge to protect the petrels.

NZ has 36 endemic seabird species, 30 more than any other country, and collaborations such as this are seen as a crucial means of protecting them.