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Results for bird-scaring lines
  • Blog Post: Namibia takes positive steps to reduce seabird mortality in hake fisheries

    Incidental bycatch in fisheries constitutes the major threat for many vulnerable populations of seabirds. Globally 300,000 seabirds are killed in longline and trawl fisheries where they are hooked and drown on baited hooks or are struck by trawl cables and dragged under water. Approximately 100,000 of...
  • Blog Post: Testing seabird bycatch mitigation: getting the facts right

    Of the 300,000 seabirds killed in longline and trawl fisheries each year, around 100,000 are albatross. This level of mortality is clearly not sustainable for these inspirational, but sadly imperilled seabirds, with 15 of the 22 species of albatross threatened with extinction. Birds are killed when...
  • Blog Post: Back on board with the demersal longline fleet in South Africa

    I recently headed down to Hout Bay, South Africa to join a demersal (bottom) longline fishing vessel in a fishery we have recently begun working with again to improve and update mitigation measures. Upon arrival to the harbour I found that the boat that I was supposed to join had already left port...
  • Blog Post: Demonstrating seabird bycatch mitigation measures in Namibia

    I recently conducted more on board demonstrations on how to use seabird bycatch mitigation measures in longline and trawl fisheries in Namibia. We are working in partnership with the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources and the fishing Industry to create awareness of the available solutions through...
  • Blog Post: Working as an intern with BirdLife South Africa

    I have been completing an internship with BirdLife South Africa, as part of the Groen Sebenza internship programme . It has given me an opportunity to learn more about my career options in conservation. I have learnt of the collaboration between different conservation organisations and met interesting...
  • Blog Post: A life of adventure

    The life of an ATF instructor is filled with adventure. Our job is to collect seabird abundance and interaction data at sea. It involves working with fishermen to find and implement solutions to seabird bycatch. It comes with a lot of amazing opportunities; we wake up at sea to the wonderful sound of...
  • Blog Post: Greening the Future award for ATF South Africa

    The South African newspaper, the Mail & Guardian holds a prestigious, annual ‘Greening the Future’ awards ceremony in Johannesburg. This year the South African Albatross Task Force team was awarded top honours for our work introducing an innovative solution that has reduced albatross...
  • Blog Post: Albatross deaths down by 99% in local trawl fishery

    Conservation success stories are hard to find. Rarely are they the result of simple, elegant solutions that are truly win-win. Now BirdLife South Africa have demonstrated just such a good-news outcome. Accidental seabird deaths during fishing is the single greatest threat facing many seabird populations...
  • Blog Post: A rare calm trip off South Africa

    Going to sea is the most unique aspect of this job, and my primary duty – to go on deep-sea trawlers and collect seabird interaction data. I’m one of only three people in South Africa doing this. We are responsible for keeping our eyes peeled and our minds open but focused on the task at...
  • Blog Post: Positive response

    Mid-October saw me giving two presentations to skippers and industry representatives about how to prevent albatross deaths in the South African hake trawl fishery. The venue was Cape Town and four fishing companies were represented. Seabirds are attracted to vessels to feed on discards from processed...
  • Blog Post: Community participation in Chile

    Apart from being at sea, one of the aspects of ATF work that interests me is improving our understanding of the social and cultural aspects of people’s behaviour toward biodiversity. A fundamental requirement for any conservation project is for the local community to understand the effect of...
  • Blog Post: The African Queen

    I was arranging a trip on a deep-sea hake trawler for routine seabird interaction data collection and mitigation measure demonstrations, which luckily gave rise to a trip on board the ‘African Queen’, one of the local deep-sea trawlers. On arrival, I was well received with great smiles...
  • Blog Post: A month of great accomplishments

    I have returned finally, from what seemed like a lifetime at sea and on foreign soil. Three trips were conducted on Eros, a hake longliner for Talhado Fisheries, with the help of very committed men on land and at sea. I've now completed seabird fatality data collection on board hake longline vessels...
  • Blog Post: Dirceu's tori line

    Hello seabirds' friends. I am here to tell you the news from Santos/Brazil Port. As the summer is not a good time to observe birds here in Brazil, I have been preparing the vessels to start to test the bird scaring lines (tori lines). This equipment is essential for scaring seabirds while the...
  • Blog Post: Briefing the Asian longline fleet

    The South African Albatross Task Force team, together with an observer agency ( CapFish ) and government representatives, conduct briefings with the fishing masters of the Asian longline fleet. This year was the same as other years and we managed to conduct briefings for all fishing masters of the 11...
  • Blog Post: Surf's up

    I've just got married and as soon as my honeymoon was over, I headed off to sea – back to the stinky boats! This trip was on a commercial trawler. This vessel was the first vessel I have seen that has stopped routinely discarding fish waste during the setting of the trawl gear, which prevents...
  • Blog Post: Latest update on the Tamini Tabla

    Yesterday Nahuel and I were with testing new improvements to the Tamini Tabla design, giving some final touches to the towed device which stabilizes and maintains bird-scaring lines in place during rough weather on trawl vessels. We expect this to be the final version! We made some changes in the...
  • Blog Post: Patience is often rewarded

    During the later half of June it was off to sea again on the Irvin & Johnson wet-fish trawler, the Stevia. Once again I was looking at making the tori lines (bird scaring lines) work their best to prevent seabird deaths. Naturally, winter is the season when seabirds are most abundant in our waters...
  • Blog Post: Community centre helps save albatross in South Africa

    Each year thousands of seabirds are accidentally killed while foraging behind fishing vessels in the world’s oceans. Thanks to a device known as a bird scaring line, which is flown behind vessels to protect the danger areas, seabird bycatch has been reduced in some fisheries by up to 90%. Ocean...
  • Blog Post: We can't control the moon!

    The best practice suite of mitigation measures for pelagic longline fisheries is the combination of a bird-scaring line, appropriate line weighting and night setting. This combination protects the area where hooks are still close to the surface (bird-scaring line), sinks baited hooks rapidly out of the...
  • Blog Post: Fishing crew develop their own albatross scaring device

    Fishing concepts... fishing crew develop their own albatross scaring device. Akira sails to the fishing area, and during the journey, I build the tori lines cables (bird scaring lines) together with the crew. They learned a lot, and so did I! The wide experience of these men makes them capable of absorbing...
  • Blog Post: Improving the set-up

    I'm sitting in the port of Coquimbo in Chile, just about to set off for a month aboard a longline vessel. The fishing crew will be looking for swordfish on this trip. We've spent some time on trip preparations. We are going to try using time depth recorders. These small devices, no larger...
  • Blog Post: 400th Day at sea

    During my last trip I continued experimenting with the Uruguayan ATF tori lines that we are developing, trying to obtain a greater set of results so we can be certain of what solutions to recommend to industry. This brought up a personal milestone, achieving my 400th day at sea! I started as a sailor...
  • Blog Post: A sinking feeling

    Our work during the current fishing season has been to focus on supporting the monitoring programme for the swordfish fishery, which the Chilean fisheries investigation institute (IFOP) manages. This monitoring includes sea-trips carried out by scientific observers on 100% of the longline fishing vessels...
  • Blog Post: Alternative use for a traffic cone

    My most recent trip lasted 24 days, many of which we suffered some bad weather. The fishing master was targeting big eye tuna and sharks. As for seabirds, we had 17 species around the vessels as we worked and a single black-browed albatross was hooked during the haul. Lines were set on 11 days during...