World Fisheries Congress arrives in Scotland
Last modified: 08 May 2012
Scotland’s partnership work in helping save one of the world’s most endangered seabirds will be celebrated at a special reception this evening (Tuesday 8th May 2012) at Edinburgh Castle.
RSPB Scotland and the Scottish Government will officially welcome the World Fisheries Congress to the Scottish capital, bringing together scientists and experts from around the globe.
The Congress, the sixth of its kind and the first to be held in Europe, aims to promote international cooperation in fisheries science, conservation and management, and is an opportunity to develop new ideas and relationships.
For many years now, RSPB Scotland has been working hard to maintain the sustainability of Scotland’s fisheries and protect its stunning marine environment.
This work has also been replicated in international waters with the creation of the Albatross Task Force ( ATF).
Seabirds are declining faster than any other group of birds but the albatross is faring worst, with 17 of the 22 species now threatened with extinction. Every year, thousands of these iconic birds are accidently snared and drowned when trying to grab food from baited fishing hooks.
The ATF, a team of experts who work with fishermen in eight countries across South America and southern Africa, help implement inexpensive measures such as weighted lines to make baited hooks sink quickly and bird –scaring lines to deter the birds.
The results are exceptional. In South Africa, deaths of albatrosses in the hake trawl fishery have been reduced by 85%, saving thousands of birds each year. In Brazil, the government has made it a legal requirement to use mitigation measures in the longline tuna fleet, significantly reducing bycatch of albatrosses and petrels.
RSPB and Birdlife International will continue working in the southern oceans, but want to replicate these successes in Europe, where longline fishing hooks and nets capture thousands of birds every year.
How you can help
The seas around the UK's coasts are increasingly overfished, over-trafficked and over-developed, but crucially under-protected. Your support today will help safeguard our sea life.