Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

Spectacled and White-chinned Petrels and other seabirds are killed by gillnets and longlines off southern Brazil

Joaquim Branco (Centro de Ciências Tecnológicas da Terra e do Mar, Universidade do Vale do Itajaí, Brazil) and colleagues have published in the Brazilian Journal of Biology on seabirds attracted to and killed by fishing vessels off Brazil.  Spectacled Procellaria conspicillata and White-chinned P. aequinoctialis Petrels, both ACAP-listed species, were reported killed in numbers by both gill nets and longlines.

The paper’s abstract follows:

“The use of discarded fish over baited hooks used in longline fishery, and fish caught in gillnets, as a food source for gulls, albatrosses and petrels has been intensively studied in northern and southern oceans.  This study describes the occurrence and abundance of seabirds observed from 20 foreign vessels which operated during the period between July 2001 and May 2005, off the southeastern and southern Brazilian coast.   A total of 353,557 seabirds were observed; comprising eight families and 28 species. The most abundant species was Procellaria conspicillata followed by Daption capense, Puffinus gravis, Thalassarche melanophrys [sic] and Oceanites oceanicus.  Ten species of seabirds (392 individual birds) were incidentally captured in gillnets; and 122 birds (9 species) by longline hooks, with P. gravis, D. capense and Procellaria aequinoctialis having the largest capture rates.”

Spectacled Petrel at sea, photograph by Ross Wanless


Branco, J.O., Fracasso, H.A.A., Pérez, J.A.A. & Rodrigues-Filho, J.L. 2014.  An assessment of oceanic seabird abundance and distribution off the southern Brazilian coast using observations obtained during deep-water fishing operations.  Brazilian Journal of Biology.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 20 December 2014

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