Friday, June 14, 2013

As many as 400,000 seabirds die each year in fishing nets, protective group says

At least 400,000 seabirds, representing 81 different kinds of birds, are killed every year by fishing vessels that deploy gill nets, and figures could be much higher than that, because much of the data on deaths was non-existent or too old to use, according to a report by BirdLife International, reports Michael Wines for The New York Times. (Alaska Journal of Commerce photo by Margaret Bauman: Gill net fishing vessels in Alaska)

Among the birds killed yearly are penguins, ducks and some critically endangered species such as the waved albatross, reports Wines. Gill nets are anchored in the water by weights and buoys, and are designed to snare fish by their gills, but can catch any creature that is too large to swim through the mesh, including sea turtles. porpoises, seals and whales. Most of the deaths involve seabirds who dive into the ocean for fish, but can't see the nearly invisible nets. To read the full report click here.

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