Skip to Main Content
Seabird and waterbird bycatch in fishing gear: next steps in dealing with a problemAuthor(s): Albert M. Manville II
Source: In: Ralph, C. John; Rich, Terrell D., editors 2005. Bird Conservation Implementation and Integration in the Americas: Proceedings of the Third International Partners in Flight Conference. 2002 March 20-24; Asilomar, California, Volume 2 Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-191. Albany, CA: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: p. 1071-1082
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
PDF: View PDF (210.0 KB)
DescriptionSeabirds, a variety of related waterfowl species, and some wading birds and shorebirds (hereafter, “waterbirds”) are accidentally captured, entangled, injured or killed in active or derelict fishing gear. Accidentally or intentionally lost or discarded gear can also continue to “ghost fish,” often until the gear sinks or washes ashore. Seabirds are most affected by set and drifting gillnets and longlines – both the focus of this paper – while seines, trawls, traps, pots, and related equipment can capture and kill waterbirds. While estimates of local population mortality from site-specific gear use are prevalent, the effects of this ‘bycatch’ on populations, and the cumulative impacts of fishing gear on waterbirds are generally unknown or only crudely estimated, with but a few exceptions. This paper addresses several bycatch reduction initiatives, including a 1991 ban by the United Nations General Assembly of large-scale high-seas driftnetting worldwide and 1992 passage of implementing US legislation, unanimous approval by the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization in 1998 of an international plan to reduce seabird bycatch in longline fisheries, development and implementation of a US national plan to reduce seabird bycatch in US longline fisheries in 2001, and efforts by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to address waterbird bycatch in all US commercial and recreational fisheries. Documented waterbird bycatch in both gillnets and longlines within US waters is reviewed, as are operational and technical measures to reduce or eliminate bycatch problems. Also discussed are efforts to address both problems by nations represented on the Arctic Circumpolar Council, the need for greater bycatch observer coverage on vessels at sea, and research. Jurisdiction of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act is reviewed.
- You may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationManville II, Albert M. 2005. Seabird and waterbird bycatch in fishing gear: next steps in dealing with a problem. In: Ralph, C. John; Rich, Terrell D., editors 2005. Bird Conservation Implementation and Integration in the Americas: Proceedings of the Third International Partners in Flight Conference. 2002 March 20-24; Asilomar, California, Volume 2 Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-191. Albany, CA: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: p. 1071-1082
Keywordsbycatch, entanglement, Food and Agriculture Organization, gillnets, high seas, Interagency Seabird Working Group, longlines, Migratory Bird Treaty
- Seabird Conservation Planning in the Pacific Region
- Leatherback sea turtle stewardship to attain local, regional, and global marine conservation and management
- Effectiveness of fishing gears to assess fish assemblage size structure in small lake ecosystems
XML: View XML