Following on the activities of BirdLife International’s Albatross Task Force tackling the problem of seabird bycatch in Southern African and South American countries, the European Seabird Task Force has been established this month to work in a similar with fishers in Europe (click here).
The current focus is on demersal longlines and set gillnets, two fishing gears thought to be responsible for high numbers of seabird bycatch in Europe. Activities are concentrating in the Baltic Sea in Lithuania (where gill nets drowning sea ducks and other diving species is the issue) and in the Spanish Mediterranean, where longlines kill shearwaters, including the ACAP-listed and Critically Endangered Balearic Shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus and the Vulnerable Yelkouan Shearwater P. yelkouan, a potential candidate for ACAP listing (click here).
Balearic Shearwater at sea
Although recently published information suggests a larger population of Mediterranean-endemic Balearic Shearwaters than was previously thought (click here), concern is still expressed in a press release by SEO (BirdLife partner in Spain) on its conservation status, with its global population decreasing in size (click here).
Click here for the Spanish version of the press release.
With thanks to Pep Arcos for information
John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 11 February 2015