Washington Sea Grant works to save albatrosses around the World

The Washington Sea Grant Program (WSG) based at the University of Washington in Seattle, USA sponsors research that aims to maximize the productive use of marine resources while preserving and helping to restore the essential qualities of a healthy marine environment.

An important component of its work has been related to seabird bycatch in North Pacific fisheries, both longline and trawl, working off the US Pacific seaboard, both in Alaskan waters and off California, Oregon and Washington (see the titles listed below, available on-line at http://www.wsg.washington.edu/communications/onlinepubs.html).

In the last few years, the WSG has extended its research on seabird mitigation techniques to the southern hemisphere with collaborative efforts taking place in New Zealand and South African waters. 

All of this work has been led by Edward Melvin, a worthy recipient of the Pacific Seabird Group’s Special Achievement Award in 2007 (see Pacific Seabirds 35: 29-32, 2008).


Grateful thanks from all the albatrosses, Ed.



 Selected WSG publications on seabird mitigation

 Dietrich, K.S.& Melvin., E.F. 2007. Alaska Trawl Fisheries: Potential Interactions with North Pacific Albatrosses. Seattle: Washington Sea Grant Program. 43 pp. http://www.wsg.washington.edu/communications/online/TrawlAlbaInterLR.pdf.

Melvin, E.F. & Wainstein, M.D.2006. Seabird Avoidance Measures for Small Alaskan Longline Vessels. Seattle: Washington Sea Grant Program. 21 pp. http://wsg.washington.edu/communications/online/smallvesselslr.pdf.

Melvin, E.F. & Walker, N. 2008. Optimizing Tori Line Designs for Pelagic Tuna Longline Fisheries. Report of Work under New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries Special Permit 355. Seattle: Washington Sea Grant Program. 18 pp. http://www.wsg.washington.edu/mas/pdfs/tori_line_optimization.pdf.

Melvin, E.F., Heinecken, C. & Guy, T.J. 2008. Optimizing Tori Line Designs for Pelagic Tuna Longline Fisheries: South Africa. Report of Work under Special Permit from the Republic of South Africa Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Marine and Coastal Management, Pelagic and High Seas Fishery Management Division (29 September 2008). Seattle: Washington Sea Grant Program. 18 pp.http://www.wsg.washington.edu/mas/pdfs/ToriLinesLR.pdf.

Melvin, E.F., Parrish, J.K., Dietrich, K.S. & Hamel, O.S. 2001 Solutions to Seabird Bycatch in Alaska’s Demersal Longline Fisheries. Seattle: Washington Sea Grant Program. 53 pp. http://wsg.washington.edu/communications/online/seabirds/seabirdpaper.html.

Melvin, E.F., Wainstein, M.D., Dietrich, K.S., Ames, K.L., Geernaert, T.O.& Conquest, L.L. 2006. The Distribution of Seabirds on the Alaskan Longline Fishing Grounds: Implications for Seabird Avoidance Regulations. Seattle: Washington Sea Grant Program. 41 pp. http://wsg.washington.edu/communications/online/seabirds/seabirddistlr.pdf.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 18 May 2009

The Agreement on the
Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

ACAP is a multilateral agreement which seeks to conserve listed albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters by coordinating international activity to mitigate known threats to their populations.

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