Off the hook? Initiatives to reduce seabird bycatch in longline fisheries

The recent history of global initiatives to reduce seabird bycatch in longline fisheries is reviewed, highlighting in turn the activities of environmental and industry non-governmental organizations (NGOs), national governments, and inter-governmental bodies. At least 40 species of seabirds, especially albatrosses and petrels, are affected, with mortality rates in perhaps half of them leading to population decreases. An International Plan of Action for Reducing Incidental Catch of Seabirds in Longline Fisheries, adopted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in June 1999, has much promise for effectively addressing the problem, if nations are willing to develop and implement it. Environmental NGOs and scientists should collaborate with the fishing industry to assist governments (and inter-governmental bodies where appropriate) to implement national plans of action in a way that would solve the problem and thereby keep the world’s seabirds off the hook.


Publication status:
Authors: Cooper, John, Croxall, John P., Rivera, Kim S.

Editors: Melvin, Edward F., Parrish, Julia K.

1 January, 2001
In: Melvin, Edward F., Parrish, Julia K. (eds.). Seabird bycatch: trends, roadblocks, and solutions. Proceedings of the symposium, Fairbanks, University of Alaska Sea Grant, 9-32.