First Seabird By-Catch Project in Turkey

Seabirds are foraging on several prey ranging from pelagic schooling fish to molluscs, from invertebrates to planktons. Seabird – fishermen interaction is certain to happen in such a world that human beings present at every tiny point and share the same prey with seabirds. It is a well-known fact that seabirds are chasing the easy prey thus feeding on fishery discards. Other than the discards, bait fish that are used in long-lines or the target fish itself are in the list of easy prey for seabirds.

Fisherman and Yelkouan shearwatersSeabirds are not the target catch for fishermen normally. But because of the interaction stated above, seabirds can be caught by fishing gear incidentally, as a non-target catch. This is called by-catch. Seabirds are caught by several fishing gear such as long-lines, trawls or even simple fishing nets worldwide. Each year more than 200.000 seabirds are estimated to be killed due to by-catch. Seabird by-catch also causes damage in fishing gear and it is one of the most important threats to seabird populations globally.

By-caught SeabirdBy-caught Seabird

Yelkouan Shearwater Project – Turkey team is getting ready to launch first seabird by-catch project in Turkey –a country where there is no previous data. The team will be collaborating with fishermen for this project and the main objective is to initiate a long-term monitoring programme for seabird by-catch in Turkey. This project will be supported by Conservation Leadership Programme under the Future Conservationist Award category.

Conservation Leadership Programme

More information and update about this project can be followed from this website.