Printer friendly version
Objective: avoid incidental catch of seabirds in the Mediterranean area
15 May 2012
Universidad de Barcelona
A new blog, fostered by the team led by lecturer Jacob González Solís, from the Department of Animal Biology and the University of Barcelona’s Biodiversity Research Institute (IRBio), both affiliated to the Barcelona Knowledge Campus, disseminates the progress of a project that studies the incidental catch of seabirds in longline fisheries on the eastern coast of the peninsula, a quite common phenomenon related to longline fishing.
Longline fishing is a fishing technique that uses a long line, from which thousands of baited hooks are suspended, which is thrown into the water from a ship. This method, which is considered to be environmentally friendly, is very selective with the captured fish but it entails the problem of the incidental catch of unwanted species. In some cases, this fishing technique may cause the death of seabirds, which are drowned when they become hooked on the lines trying to get the bait. These sporadic incidents are difficult to detect but they affect threatened species which are endemic to the Mediterranean area, such as the Mediterranean Shearwater (Puffinus yelkouan), the Cory’s Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea), the Audouin’s gull (Larus audouinii) and, above all, the Balearic Shearwater (Puffinus mauretanicus), considered critically endangered with extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
With the support of the Biodiversity Foundation, and the collaboration of the Government of Valencia and institutions like SEO/BirdLife, the scientific team will carry out during 2012 an intensive campaign to assess the extent of the problem of longline fisheries on the eastern coast of the peninsula. Experts explain their task: “We will carry out bird census and we will record incidental catches in order to know which factors increase the probability of capture and, thanks to the experience of fishermen, we will try to find solutions to reduce the mortality caused by longline fisheries”.
You can follow the project in the following link: