Fisheries Bycatch

Seabird Research - Fisheries Bycatch
Black-footed Albatross (photo: Sophie Webb)

Since 1999, I have assisted agencies in Canada and the US to develop reduction measures for seabird bycatch in commerical fisheries. From 1999-2006, I partnered with Canadian Wildlife Service, Archipelago Marine Research, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada to assess bycatch levels in Canada’s west coast commercial gillnet and longline fisheries. Responsible for all aspects of project development including building federal partners, fund-raising and industry outreach/education, I worked with the Canadian government to develop new regulations to reduce bycatch in the Pacific longline fisheries in 2002, and write Canada’s National Plan of Action, NPOA-Seabirds, from 2003 to 2006.

Working with Archipelago Marine Research from 2000-2002, I developed training modules and new data reporting requirements for at-sea fisheries observers to collect seabird mortality information. I also implemented a salvaged bird program with the Canadian Wildlife Service to collect, identify and necropsy drowned seabirds for species identification and population demographic questions.  In 2002 and 2006, I partnered with a retired commercial fisherman, Jake Fraser, to develop full-colour, laminated seabird identification guides for use in British Columbia and Alaska.

Other partners in this research were the International Pacific Halibut Commission and Washington SeaGrant, especially for discussions on how to evaluate the efficacy of mandatory mitigation and advance our scientific understanding of population level effects on black-footed albatross.

This research has been published in Fisheries and Oceans Canada Technical Reports, Environment Canada reports, presented at conferences in Canada, USA, and Uruguay, and published in outreach materials to the commercial fishing associations and at-sea fisheries observer programs.

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