Bird Bycatch Solutions for Fishery Sustainability

American Bird Conservancy has just created a new, comprehensive manual--Seabird Bycatch Solutions for Fishery Sustainability--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 protections and conservation. The key information is concisely presented and illustrated with images and animations. The document provides additional information that can be used together with this website.

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Seabird Bycatch Solutions for Fishery Sustainability is available free for download in two versions. Both are large files.

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The manual is 71 pages packed with useful information on seabirds. Those reviewing or evaluating fisheries for sustainability or seeking information on seabird bycatch reduction in fisheries will be able to quickly find the information they need.

The document is designed for fisheries managers and evaluators, biologists, regulators, and fishers to provide the key information they need. The sections include:

  • Bycatch and mortality of seabirds in marine harvest fisheries: How do seabirds interact with different fishing gears? What are the ways they can be caught or injured? This section is illustrated with six animations showing potential problems seabirds face from fisheries.
  • Risks and best practices: Given the risks posed to seabirds by different gears, what are the ways bycatch can be avoided or reduced? For some gear types there are very effective and inexpensive ways to reduce bycatch. Diving seabirds face different threats from a given gear type than do surface feeders. This section is also illustrated with three animations to demonstrate some effective bycatch reduction methods.
  • How to evaluate seabirds within a Marine Stewardship Council certification process: How do the new Fishery Certification Requirements take into account seabirds and seabird bycatch? There are important changes in the way seabirds are considered, and what species of seabirds must be evaluated as endangered, threatened, or protected species. This section covers all of the MSC Performance Indicators that relate to seabirds.
  • Legal status and conservation of seabirds: Seabirds are protected by various agreements and governments around the world, and their conservation is promoted by non-governmental organizations as well.

Additional sections of Seabird Bycatch Solutions for Fishery Sustainability provide background on seabird diversity and ecology; best practices for managing the forage fish upon which seabirds depend; resources that go beyond the document itself to assist fisheries evaluators and biologists in assessing risks and reducing bycatch; and much more! With information from the document and with use of the complementary Seabird Maps and Information for Fisheries website (that's where you are now!), evaluators should have all the necessary information and tools at their fingertips to help reduce seabird bycatch and make fisheries more sustainable.

Seabird Bycatch Solutions for Fishery Sustainability is available free for download in two versions. Both are large files, but the animations in the smaller version (25 MB) require access to the internet (YouTube). The larger version (100 MB) contains the animations embedded within, and once downloaded can be viewed without internet access.