Seabirds are one of the most threatened groups of animals in the world, with many species in decline to due being incidentally killed in fisheries.
They are caught and drowned on baited longline hooks and in nets, and are killed by collisions with trawl cables. It’s estimated over 100,000 albatross meet this grisly fate every year.
However this doesn’t have to be the case. Simple and inexpensive measures already exist that can be highly effective in preventing seabird deaths, and others are still in experimental stages but have shown great promise.
Some fisheries have already reduced deaths by over 80%, demonstrating the scale of potential success.
The RSPB and BirdLife International have produced a new publication that presents some of the remarkable efforts fisheries have made on a global scale to tackle this problem; from saving turtles in Peru to Black-browed Albatross in Namibia.
These stories demonstrate that collaboration between fishers, scientists and decision makers can lead to practical solutions that will ultimately turn the tide for many of these seabird species.
This booklet is a resource for the fishing industry to inform them of the measures they can take to avoid seabird deaths, and to inspire them to take action to improve the sustainability of global fisheries.
It would not have been possible to create this resource without the generous support of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.