Seabird Species Caught in Drift Gillnets

These species have all been recorded as caught in drift gillnets, that is, nets not anchored to the sea floor but kept suspended by floats (International Standard Classification of Fishing Gears code 07.2).

There are 88 species of seabirds recorded caught in drift gillnets. Most of these are diving species. However, in contrast to set gillnets, eight are not diving species (see below). This may be because drfit gillnets are more often near the surface where even birds that do not dive may become entangled. 

Nonetheless, in some taxonomic groups, the majority of species in the group have been recorded in drift gillnets. The alcids appear to be particularly susceptible to being caught in these nets. The species recorded in these nets include:

  • 21 of 24 alcids (murres, murrelets, guillemots, auklets, and puffins)
  • Four of the five species of loons or divers

Grebes are rarely recorded being caught in any gear except gillnets, including set and drift gillnets, and three of the seven species of grebes that enter the marine environment are recorded in drift gillnets.

If you are interested in more details about bycatch in any of these species, go to the map tool, choose "Explore by Species," select the species (probably easiest in the "Common name" drop-down box), submit the query, and get a comprehensive report for your species of interest. The report will list all of the references regarding bycatch in the "Gear Interaction References" section.

Ducks (Anseriformes)

Greater Scaup Aythya marila
King Eider Somateria spectabilis
Common Eider Somateria mollissima
Velvet Scoter Melanitta fusca
Common Scoter Melanitta nigra
Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis
Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula
Common Merganser Mergus merganser
Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator

Loons or Divers (Gaviiformes)

Red-throated Loon Gavia stellata
Black-throated Loon Gavia arctica
Great Northern Loon Gavia immer
Yellow-billed Loon Gavia adamsii

Penguins (Sphenisciformes)

Northern Rockhopper Penguin Eudyptes moseleyi
Magellanic Penguin Spheniscus magellanicus
Humboldt Penguin Spheniscus humboldti

Albatrosses (Procellariiformes)

Laysan Albatross Phoebastria immutabilis (not a diving species)
Black-footed Albatross Phoebastria nigripes (not a diving species)
Waved Albatross Phoebastria irrorata
Short-tailed Albatross Phoebastria albatrus (not a diving species)
Wandering Albatross Diomedea exulans
Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophris
Gray-headed Albatross Thalassarche chrysostoma

Fulmars and Petrels (Procellariiformes)

Northern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis
Providence Petrel Pterodroma solandri
Hawaiian Petrel Pterodroma sandwichensis (not a diving species)
Mottled Petrel Pterodroma inexpectata
Bonin Petrel Pterodroma hypoleuca (not a diving species)
Stejneger's Petrel Pterodroma longirostris
White-chinned Petrel Procellaria aequinoctialis

Shearwaters (Procellariiformes)

Streaked Shearwater Calonectris leucomelas
Wedge-tailed Shearwater Ardenna pacifica
Buller's Shearwater Ardenna bulleri
Sooty Shearwater Ardenna grisea
Short-tailed Shearwater Ardenna tenuirostris
Pink-footed Shearwater Ardenna creatopus
Flesh-footed Shearwater Ardenna carneipes
Great Shearwater Ardenna gravis
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus
Yelkouan Shearwater Puffinus yelkouan
Newell's Shearwater Puffinus newelli

Storm Petrels (Procellariiformes)

Leach's Storm Petrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa (not a diving species)
Tristram's Storm Petrel Oceanodroma tristrami (not a diving species)
Fork-tailed Storm Petrel Oceanodroma furcata

Grebes (Podicipediformes)

Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus
Horned Grebe Podiceps auritus

Tropicbirds (Phaethontiformes)

Red-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon rubricauda

Boobies and Shags (Suliformes)

Northern Gannet Morus bassanus
Blue-footed Booby Sula nebouxii
Peruvian Booby Sula variegata
Pelagic Cormorant Phalacrocorax pelagicus
Red-faced Cormorant Phalacrocorax urile
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
Guanay Cormorant Leucocarbo bougainvillii

Shorebirds at Sea (Charadriiformes)

Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus (not a diving species)

Gulls and Skuas (Charadriiformes)

Black-legged Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla
Red-legged Kittiwake Rissa brevirostris
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus
Glaucous-winged Gull Larus glaucescens
Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus
Arctic Herring Gull Larus smithsonianus
Slaty-backed Gull Larus schistisagus
Inca Tern Larosterna inca
South Polar Skua Stercorarius maccormicki
Pomarine Skua Stercorarius pomarinus
Long-tailed Jaeger Stercorarius longicaudus

Alcids (Charadriiformes)

Little Auk Alle alle
Thick-billed Murre Uria lomvia
Common Murre Uria aalge
Razorbill Alca torda
Black Guillemot Cepphus grylle
Pigeon Guillemot Cepphus columba
Marbled Murrelet Brachyramphus marmoratus
Long-billed Murrelet Brachyramphus perdix
Kittlitz's Murrelet Brachyramphus brevirostris
Guadalupe Murrelet Synthliboramphus hypoleucus
Scripps's Murrelet Synthliboramphus scrippsi
Ancient Murrelet Synthliboramphus antiquus
Japanese Murrelet Synthliboramphus wumizusume
Cassin's Auklet Ptychoramphus aleuticus
Parakeet Auklet Aethia psittacula
Least Auklet Aethia pusilla
Crested Auklet Aethia cristatella
Rhinoceros Auklet Cerorhinca monocerata
Atlantic Puffin Fratercula arctica
Horned Puffin Fratercula corniculata
Tufted Puffin Fratercula cirrhata