Foraging zones used by incubating royal albatrosses (Diomedea epomophora) from the Otago Peninsula and their coincidence with fisheries activities were studied with global positioning system (GPS) loggers. Birds favoured areas around the shelf break of the eastern New Zealand continental mass, with hot spots of activity that coincided with fishing zones actively exploited by commercial trawl fisheries during the study period. Birds appeared to change their behaviours with proximity to fishing events, showing reduced speed and more direct flight when at moderate distances from fishing operations (12.5 – 25 km) than at greater distances. This relationship was significant for speed only (P < 0.029). Fishing operations for hoki (Macruronus novaezelandiae) and deep-sea species were those with the most numerous associations with royal albatross foraging flights and were also the most common during the study period. Waters along shelf breaks within 100 km of the breeding colony were extremely important for royal albatrosses, 28% of GPS locations being obtained within this radius from the Otago peninsula study. Royal albatrosses from Campbell Island, studied previously, had also fed in this area extensively. Birds spent 2 – 19 days at sea, travelling 2000 km, on average, during their foraging trips.
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