New ways to reduce seabird bycatch

BirdLife South Africa and The South African Hake Trawl Fleet

Amount awarded: £49,949

This research project from Bird Life South Africa aims to develop bespoke bird mitigation plans.  

Accidental bycatch of threatened seabirds is a problem for many fisheries. Bird-scaring Lines (BSLs) act as an effective deterrent in the offshore trawl fisheries in the South African Hake Trawl Fleet. Thee inshore fishery however, lacks the structural and operational features to prevent birds colliding with nets in the same way.

The project will use bird barriers, new BSLs, structural alterations, changes to offal management and the installation of electronic monitoring devices to monitor bird bycatch. If effective, the research will benefit other Fishery Improvement Projects.

We had seen the need for this research to take place for a long time, but due to lack of funding and a direct way to benefit the fishing fleet, getting support had not been possible until funding from the MSC became available.

Andrea Angel BirdLife South Africa
Indonesian handline fisher

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