Department of Conservation


Creative Brief – To combat the impact that commercial fishing has on protected marine species in New Zealand waters, DoC needed to educate individual fishers on how to apply best mitigation practice to their fishing methods. In order to educate commercial fishers, DoC required pictorial guides on the handling of protected species as well as short videos demonstrating development of key mitigation gear as well as providing identification tools to increase understanding of protected species that might interact with their fishing operations. These resources were to be communicated to commercial fishers through port-based workshops or other suitably targeted mechanisms.

The Challenge – The challenge with developing the animated videos and the handling and release guide was that we needed to communicate key principles and relevant information of bycatch mitigation measures tailored specifically to certain fisheries (longline, trawl and other net fishing. This would need to be done in an efficient and effective way for a broad range of audience groups on commercial fishing vessels throughout New Zealand waters.

The Idea – To keep the audience focused on the key principles of bycatch mitigation, we developed a communication style that focused attention on the key messages. We felt that the best way to achieve this was to avoid filming actual people on vessels that may not be appropriate to the specific fishery or fisher and instead we used illustration, animation and a scripted voice over.

We followed through with the illustration style from the videos in the handling and release guide to clearly and simply communicate the protected species handling concepts. The key messages being the main protected species within New Zealand waters that fishers may encounter, the six handling principles, crew safety and the best practice methods.

To create brand clarity the Guide (and videos) have been developed within a visual style that reflects the Department of Conservation’s brand identity. Clear identification helps the audience trust the relevance and authenticity of the information and will understand its part of a wider programme.

The guide is available in PDF form online in English and five other languages. It has also been printed and distributed to fishing vessels via the Protected Species Liaison Officers.

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