Every year, an estimated 400,000 seabirds worldwide are killed after getting unintentionally snared in gillnets while diving for food. A new review highlights that even penguins – the master swimmers of the avian world – aren’t safe from their clutches, and points the way to where the threat is most acute.
Long-time followers of BirdLife’s work will be very familiar with the ongoing issue of accidental seabird capture (or bycatch) in fisheries, which has driven declines in many globally threatened marine species. For over a decade, we have made remarkable progress in reducing albatross bycatch in collaboration with fishermen through our Albatross Task Force, both by designing and testing innovative solutions at-sea (such as bird-scaring lines), and through our advocacy work, which has helped to pass new national laws which have turned some of the world’s most deadly fisheries, such as those in Namibia, ‘seabird-safe’.
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