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Conservationist or hunter. Is there a difference?

In order to harvest the bounty of the sea we must ensure not only the survival of the
eco-system that is the oceans but their proliferation. The removal of one small species can alter the balance of nature, we must take responsibility for our actions and ensure no species is lost through any action or inaction on our part.
Capt Bert Lee, Email:

Enjoy with me some of the more uncommon sights around Tolaga Bay

This whale which was about 8m in length circled the boat for about an hour while we were anchored fishing. It often lifted it's eye out of the water and looked at us from a distance of less the two meters.

   A young bull Elephant Seal which spent several weeks around Tolaga Bay    in December 99-January 2000. It was friendly to people but had an aversion   to boats, it flopped on top of one which was pulled up on the beach breaking the windscreen, cabin and seats.
How would you explain that to your insurance company?

long-billed curlew on the mud-flats of the Uawa River Tolaga Bay, a very occasional visitor

I took this photo several years ago north of Tokomaru Bay, by the under-flipper markings I would say it is a Fiordland crested penguin.


      WANDERING ALBATROSS                                BLACK-BROWED MOLLYMAWK

       BULLERS MOLLYMAWK                                    GREY-BACKED MOLLYMAWK

      SHY MOLLYMAWK                                           FLESH FOOTED SHEARWATER

       GREY PETREL                                                    SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER

      CAPE PIGEON                                                              BULLERS SHEARWATER

        HUTTONS SHEARWATER                                                         BLACK PETREL

        BULLERS MOLLYMAWK                                               SOOTY SHEARWATER

        GIANT PETREL                                                               GREY-FACED PETREL

        COOKS PETREL                                              WHITE-FACED STORM PETREL

The East Cape is not only a top fishing spot but a great place to observe a wide range of sea birds. An Israeli ornithologist I took out counted 22 species of petrel, shearwater and albatross in one day. As a fisherman of many years experience I have come to know and enjoy the birds of the sea. The bird-life here changes with the seasons as different species migrate following their prefered temperature range. Summer is now behind us and the winter species are starting to arrive, on the 1st April I saw the first Grey-faced petrels then later in the month Prions started arriving, early May the first Cape pigeons flew in and one or two Wilsons storm-petrels have been passing . Over the next months I will update this page with observations and photos of the ever-changing birdlife. If you have an interest in sea-birds I would like to hear from you and hopefully one day take you out and show you the rich diversity we have here.

Surface longlines in NZ.


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