MEPS - Vol. 565 - FEATURE ARTICLE

Puffinus shearwaters were the seabirds most susceptible to
bycatch due to their remarkable diving capabilities. Photo: Verónica Cortés

Cortés V, Arcos JM, González-Solís J

 

Seabirds and demersal longliners in the northwestern Mediterranean: factors driving their interactions and bycatch rates

Cortés and co-authors studied seabird bycatch in the Balearic Sea (NW Mediterranean) through observations on board demersal longline vessels and through bird catches reported by fishermen. They showed that the studied fleet caused high seabird mortality, especially during the spring period. In particular, these incidental catches affected the 3 endemic and threatened shearwater species of the Mediterranean Sea (Calonectris diomedea, Puffinus mauretanicus and P. Yelkouan), highlighting the need for urgent action to reduce bycatch rates. This study also provides a description of the demersal longline fleet operating in the area and insight into the factors influencing bycatch, which should be taken into account when designing the most appropriate mitigation measures for the region.

 

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