Trawler bycatch of birdlife

To: "Baus" <>
Subject: Trawler bycatch of birdlife
From: "Graham Turner" <>
Date: Thu, 7 Aug 2008 14:17:50 +1000
If the numbers are to be believe it is hard to see how this practice has not caused an outcry before. If the estimate of 18,000 birds from a single fishery is correct, then it is greater than the by-catch from the Southern Ocean longline fishery, estimated at about half this rate.

(From, "Incidental catch (or bycatch) of seabirds during oceanic longline fishing operations" Dept Env. report "..... then the estimated number of seabirds caught on longlines in 1994 rises to about 8 700"

Graham Turner

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'Net losses' for South African seabirds

A study of trawl fishing in South Africa suggests that around 18,000 seabirds may be killed annually in this fishery, highlighting trawl fisheries as a major threat to seabirds, especially several species of albatross already facing a risk of extinction.

Published in the journal Animal Conservation, the study was based on scientists monitoring catches on 14 different vessels, operating in the Benguela Current, off South Africa; one of the main hotspots for seabirds in the Southern Hemisphere. The vessels were trawling for hake, and the majority of bird deaths were a result of collisions with wires - known as warp lines - leading from the stern of the vessels.

"We believe the seabird deaths the scientists recorded might be just the tip of the iceberg", said John Croxall, Chair of BirdLife's Global Seabird Programme. "It suggests that around 18,000 seabirds may be killed annually in this fishery alone," he added.

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