Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

Seabird mortality 101: “simple fixes” could save thousands of birds a year killed in fisheries

The Smithsonian Magazine has published an article on line that discusses seabird mortality from three types of fishing: longlining, trawling and gill netting.  “Changes as basic as adding a colorful streamer to commercial longline fishing boats could save thousands of seabirds a year”.

The article, written by Emily Eng and Whitney Pipkin, comes with three clear and well-drawn graphics by Emily that illustrate the problem – and what can be done to mitigate it – for each fishing type, and serves as a good introduction to the issue to share with friends and colleagues who may not be well informed.  Mitigation measures described include the use of bird-scaring lines by both longliners and trawlers, line weighting and night setting.  The longline fishing graphic is given as an example.

With thanks to Mi Ae Kim, Office of International Affairs and Seafood Inspection, National Marine Fisheries Service, USA.


Eng, E. & Pipkin, W. 2016.  These simple fixes could save thousands of birds a year from fishing boats.  Smithsonian Magazine 22 August 2016.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 27 December 2016

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