Seabird bycatch is an enormous problem for sustainability of fisheries and the conservation of seabirds. American Bird Conservancy (ABC) has just created a new, comprehensive manual providing a wealth of information on seabird ecology, how seabirds interact with fisheries and how to reduce bycatch of seabirds, how to evaluate seabird bycatch under frameworks such as Marine Stewardship Council certification, and seabird protection and conservation. The new manual presents key information concisely, and is illustrated with images and animations. It serves as a complementary resource to the Seabird Maps and Information for Fisheries website, launched by ABC last September.
ABA’s website is designed to help fishers and fisheries managers assess risk of seabird bycatch in geographic areas of interest, in order to make appropriate mitigation or accommodations, and minimize or eliminate seabird bycatch in operations. It can also be useful to anyone with an interest in mapping seabird occurrence by region.
Check it out: http://fisheryandseabird.info/
The map tool allows you to quickly find information related to the seabirds themselves, on known bycatch issues, and factors that may indicate the risk posed to them by fishing. It does not provide immediate yes or no answers to specific circumstances. As a user, you may:
- Draw your fishery on a map.
- Quickly obtain a list of seabirds that you might encounter in your fishery or area of interest.
- See maps of their distribution.
- Sort the species by threatened status, population size, or other criteria.
- See ecological information, such as diving depth, that may indicate the risk posed by fishing gear.
- Review legal protected status.
- Be directed to bycatch reduction and mitigation resources.
- Find additional literature sources.
Courtesy of Birdlife.org
If you love to eat seafood like me, we can help prevent seabird bycatch by purchasing seafood that has met rigorous sustainability criteria as a certified by the Marine Stewardship Council. The Council maintains a list of seafood products by manufacturers that have met the established sustainability criteria.