A great day for BirdLife South Africa’s efforts in reducing seabird deaths in the SA trawl fishery. In 2008 it was estimated that 18 000 birds were dying in this fishery each year. We’ve just released a paper that reports on how that figure has changed. It’s pretty dramatic – for all seabirds the reduction is of the order of 90%, but for albatrosses its more like 99% fewer mortalities. This is thanks to the Albatross Task Force team’s efforts, and a very cooperative fishery that worked with the ATF to ensure the risks were addressed. The fishery has Marine Stewardship Council certification, and that was an important factor in ensuring this fantastic outcome.
The research is available from http://doi.wiley.com/10.1111/acv.12126. The full citation is:
Maree, BA, Wanless RM, Fairweather TP, Sullivan BJ & Yates O. 2014.
Significant reductions in mortality of threatened seabirds in a South African trawl fishery. Animal Conservation 17: published online.