Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

Thousands of boats: challenges in reducing seabird bycatch in small-scale and artisanal fisheries

Marco Favero and Juan Pablo Seco Pon (Laboratorio Vertebrados, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Argentina) have published a commentary in the journal Animal Conservation on a feature paper in the same issue by Bronwyn Maree and colleagues.

A response to the commentary, and to that by Charlotte Boyd (click here), by two of the featured paper’s authors has also been published in the same journal issue.

The Favero & Seco Pon commentary concludes:

“Some of these small-scale fleets consist of thousands of boats operating in waters where seabirds range.  When the scale of these fleets is taken into account, even very rare (almost undetectable) by-catch events per boat may have a profound effect in some populations.  This is an important conservation issue that will challenge seabird scientists and conservationists in the near future.”

In response to the two commentaries, Ross Wanless and Bronwyn Maree consider that “regulations are seldom sufficient, and incentivizing change is a key ingredient to driving widespread change.”

Twin bird-scaring lines deployed behind a South African demersal trawler for hake

Photograph by Barry Watkins


Boyd, C. 2014.  Minimizing seabird by-catch in industrial fisheries.  Animal Conservation doi:10.1111/acv.12179.

Favero, M. & Seco Pon, J.P. 2014.  Challenges in seabird by-catch mitigation.  Animal Conservation doi:10.1111/acv.12180.

Maree, B.A., Wanless, R.M., Fairweather, T.P., Sullivan, B.J. & Yates, O. 2014.  Significant reductions in mortality of threatened seabirds in a South African trawl fishery.  Animal Conservation doi:10.1111/acv.12126.

Wanless, R.M. & Maree, B.A. 2014.  Problems and solutions for seabird bycatch in trawl fisheries.  Animal Conservation doi:10.1111/acv.12183.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 22 December 2014