34,000 seabirds killed annually in Africa’s Benguela Current
BirdLife South Africa and WWF South Africa have released a report that for the first time assesses the impact of longline fishing on vulnerable species foraging in the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem, a rich and biodiverse ecosystem that stretches up the west coast of South Africa and the entire of the Namibian and Angolan coasts.
The report estimates that as many as 34,000 seabirds, 4,200 sea turtles, and over 7 million demersal and pelagic sharks, rays and skates are killed annually.
The five migrant pelagic seabird species occurring in the Benguela Current that are most susceptible to the impacts of fishing operations are Black-browed Albatross Thallasarche melanophris, Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross T. chlororhynchus and Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross T. carteri, (all Endangered), Shy Albatross T. cauta (Near Threatened) and White-chinned Petrel Procellaria aequinoctialis (Vulnerable).
Also seriously affected is the Cape Gannet Morus capensis, a Benguela endemic now listed as Vulnerable. …
One the co-authors of the report, Maria Honig, previously with BirdLife South Africa, has worked as a specialised observer, and presented workshops for fishermen.
You can read her diary, along with those of other members of the Albatross Task Force, at www.savethealbatross.net.
16-04-2010: BirdLife International and WWF South Africa recently achieved a major conservation success by improving the methods used by commercial fishermen in the south-east Atlantic Ocean to avoid killing seabirds: here.
Trawling and albatrosses: here.
Thin-billed prions: here.
Seabirds of Scotland: here.
Seabirds and invasive mammals: here.