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Tuck G.N.,CSIRO | Phillips R.A.,Natural Environment Research Council | Small C.,BirdLife Global Seabird Programme | Thomson R.B.,CSIRO | And 4 more authors.
ICES Journal of Marine Science | Year: 2011

Currently, 17 of 22 albatross species are listed as Vulnerable, Endangered, or Critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Incidental mortality in fisheries is by far the most widespread cause of the population declines observed for these and other closely related species. In 2006, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) requested an assessment of the threat from their fisheries to all seabirds that breed or forage within their jurisdiction. Methods were developed to assess the potential consequences of fishing for more than 60 populations of seabird. The assessment framework involved the identification of at-risk populations, overlap analyses, estimation of total bycatch, and an evaluation of the impact of the bycatch on key selected populations for which there were sufficient data on bird distribution and demography. These were the wandering and black-browed albatrosses of South Georgia and the Atlantic yellow-nosed and Tristan albatrosses of Gough Island. Summary results from the seabird assessment are presented, revealing that ICCAT longline fisheries catch substantial numbers of seabirds, with potentially significant conservation implications. If this mortality is not reduced, the numbers of breeding birds in some populations will continue to decline, threatening their long-term viability. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of International Council for the Exploration of the Sea2011This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. © 2011 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea.

Waugh S.M.,BirdLife Global Seabird Programme | Filippi D.P.,Sextant Technology Ltd. | Kirby D.S.,British Petroleum | Abraham E.,Dragonfly Ltd | Walker N.,Ministry of Fisheries
Marine Policy | Year: 2012

The risk of seabird-fishery interactions in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) was examined by analysing the overlap of seabird distributions with tuna and swordfish pelagic longline fisheries managed by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and its constituent members. The study used spatially-explicit Productivity-Susceptibility Analysis (PSA). Key data inputs were species productivity, fishing effort, likelihood of capture and species density by region. The outputs tailored results to the needs of fisheries- and wildlife-managers, indicating areas of greatest risk of species interactions, species of greatest concern for population impacts, and the flags or fisheries most likely to contribute to the risk. Large albatross species were found to be most likely to suffer population effects when exposed to longline fishing activity, followed by the larger petrels from the genuses Procellaria, Macronectes and Pterodroma. A mixture of coastal states with nesting seabird populations in their Exclusive Economic Zones (New Zealand, Australia and United States of America), distant water fishing nations (Japan, Taiwan) and flags of convenience (Vanuatu) contributed 90% of the risk to seabird populations. Recommendations include enhancing the level of fisheries observer monitoring in areas indicated as high to medium risk for seabird interactions, and consideration of spatial management tools, such as more intensive or more stringent seabird bycatch mitigation requirements in high- to medium-risk areas. The methods used, and similar studies conducted in the Atlantic Ocean could lead to improved targeting of monitoring resources, and greater specificity in the needs for seabird-mitigation measures. This will assist in reducing seabird mortality in longline fishing operations and with more effective use of resources for fishery managers in both domestic fisheries and RFMOs. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Small C.,BirdLife Global Seabird Programme | Waugh S.M.,Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa | Phillips R.A.,Natural Environment Research Council
Marine Policy | Year: 2013

Many marine species are threatened by high levels of incidental mortality in fisheries. This paper reviews the design of selected recent, detailed Ecological Risk Assessments (ERAs) of the effects of fishing on seabirds. Several aspects of ERA methodology for seabirds are still in development, including the most appropriate ways to: predict seabird distribution and fisheries overlap; handle data gaps; compare productivity and susceptibility among species; and incorporate data on bycatch. Nor is there consensus on rules for selecting species or populations for inclusion in assessments, the appropriate spatial and temporal resolution for the analyses, and the definition of risk. Despite these uncertainties, the clear benefits of undertaking quantitative or semi-quantitative ERAs include the identification of particularly vulnerable species or populations and of key areas and seasons in which bycatch may be occurring, and the highlighting of data gaps and priorities for future monitoring. ERAs are likely to be particularly effective where explicit links are established at the outset between the outcomes or conclusions of the ERA and management responses. A precautionary approach to bycatch mitigation can then be embedded in the broader fisheries management framework. However, this requires that the ERA process is not overly complex or is prolonged to the extent that it draws attention away from existing responsibilities and commitments to reduce bycatch per se. When selecting the best approach, it is vital to balance desired outputs against the availability of data for the assessment, and to deal with data gaps in a precautionary manner. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

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