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They also have the right to live
Among the activities that we conduct as ATF instructors, working with the crew aboard fishing vessels is the most difficult to accurately quantify. We can identify a seabird to species or sub-species level, record the exact times of fishing operations, statistically demonstrate the efficiency of mitigation...
14 May 2013
Educating commercial and recreational fishermen to handle seabirds safely
This month I thought it would be a good idea to follow on from one of my Brazilian colleague’s diaries which highlighted the poor attitude of some fishermen towards seabirds. His diary can be found here , as a reminder of the problem. I have only ever seen one or two birds with broken bills...
11 Jul 2012
Shy-type albatross between the warps!
I recently returned from a routine Albatross Task Force at-sea trip onboard a conventional wet fish trawl vessel in Argentina (fish are stored on ice, but not frozen like on the larger freezer vessels). The trip lasted a total of 16 days and fishing was concentrated around 300 km east of the Valdéz...
31 Jan 2012
Open sea to the dry desert
Richard's Bay Over the last eight months I’ve been working off Richard's Bay, in the east coast of South Africa, collecting more data for the Albatross Task Force (ATF) research project which is seeking to determine how adding weight to the fishing line effects the catch rates of...
31 Jan 2011
ATF's contribution to Pink-footed shearwater conservation!
Between the 24 th and 27 th January 2011, I had the opportunity to take part in a workshop organised by the Chilean Environment Ministry to evaluate conservation actions for the Pink-footed shearwater Puffinus creatopus under the mark of the Agreement for Environmental Cooperation between Chile...
28 Feb 2011
Waste discards from fishing boats
I’ve recently started working with the Task Force in Chile and I am delighted to have this opportunity as I know Chilean fisheries inside out and I believe that we really need to make a big effort to reduce seabird mortality, so it is great to be part of the ATF. I've been lucky enough to...
31 Aug 2012
A life history that deserves respect
Without doubt, the albatross are one of the groups of seabirds that need our greatest conservation effort. Commercial fisheries, through incidental capture, have generated a huge impact in many populations and almost all the species are currently in danger of extinction. As they spend the main part of...
1 Dec 2011
Experiments aboard commercial longline vessels in Uruguay
In my most recent trip to sea, we set off for a period of eleven days from the port of La Paloma, located on the east coast of Uruguay. We had already partaken in various trips on this vessel, and so the crew already knew us well and they were happy to collaborate with our work again. We now have a much...
5 Dec 2011
Discussing seabird-fisheries interactions in Brazil
Last month I attended a roundtable discussion on interactions between marine megafauna and fisheries. This was part of the III Academic Symposium of Marine Biology , which took place in Tramandaí, southern Brazil. The symposium was sponsored by the Academic Board of a Biological Sciences course...
20 Sep 2012
ATF South Africa join cruise ship MSC Opera to raise awareness for seabird conservation
Every year BirdLife South Africa gathers a congregation of very knowledgeable scientists and birders to discuss issues around bird conservation. This annual gathering has since been coined ‘FLOCK’ and it is BirdLife South Africa’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). This year, however was...
20 Mar 2013
South Pacific Bulletin: Connecting the Albatross Task Force across the globe
Our work in the ATF generally brings us into close contact with the community, without which we would not be able to explain the phenomenon of seabird bycatch and our mission to reduce the impact on vulnerable species (see here for an example ). During these activities we always share our experiences...
14 Feb 2013
Progress in South Korea
Ross Wanless, South African regional co-ordinator for the Global Seabird Programme reports back from a seabird bycatch workshop in South Korea, with some promising developments: Asian longline fleets account for ~90% of the fishing effort that overlaps with albatrosses. This meant that getting an...
4 Dec 2012
Seabird-fisheries interaction workshop in Argentina
From the 30 th November to the 2 nd December 2010, the ATF in Argentina and the Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata -CONICET organised the second intensive observer training course for Indentification and Recording of Seabird Interactions with Fisheries. The course was intended for fishery...
21 Dec 2010
Small scale fisheries
The definition of small-scale (sometimes referred to as artisanal) fisheries is not particularly clear and it differs from country to country. However, most fleets that are described as small-scale share some common characteristics: Small vessels, often of wooden or fibre-glass construction; ...
10 Aug 2012
Caught on the haul
Recently I returned from my first trip working with the Albatross Task Force aboard the pelagic longline vessel “Maria Letícia”, from Torquato Pontes Fish Company. This boat sailed under captain Celso, a very experienced captain who specializes in catching tunas. Captain Celso...
13 Oct 2010
Albatross Task Force: Viewing the world through a different lens
In the Albatross Task Force we have the opportunity to see the world through a different lens. We go to sea on commercial fishing vessels and observe how the marine ecosystem is impacted by industrial fisheries. We can spend anywhere from a few days to over two months at-sea on these floating fish factories...
26 Jul 2013
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