Emu Emu Society
Journal of BirdLife Australia

Seabird mortality associated with Patagonian Toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) longliners in Falkland Islands waters

T. A. Reid A D , B. J. Sullivan A , J. Pompert B , J. W. Enticott C and A. D. Black A B

A Falklands Conservation Seabirds at Sea Team, Jetty Centre, Stanley, Falkland Islands.

B Falkland Islands Fisheries Department, Stanley, Falkland Islands.

C Consolidated Fisheries Limited, Stanley, Falkland Islands.

D Corresponding author. Email: fc.seabirds@horizon.co.fk

Emu 104(4) 317-325 https://doi.org/10.1071/MU03002
Submitted: 2 January 2003  Accepted: 30 March 2004   Published: 23 December 2004


Seabird mortality in longline fishing has been implicated in the decline of many populations around the world. The population of the Black-browed Albatross breeding in the Falkland Islands has been estimated to have declined by 87 500 pairs between 1995 and 2000. The observed mortality in the Patagonian Toothfish longline fishery in Falkland Islands waters in 2001–02 was 29 seabirds, including 27 Black-browed Albatrosses, giving an estimated total mortality of 134 (95% confidence limits 80–188) birds, including 126 (75–177) Black-browed Albatrosses. This suggests that this fishery in Falkland Islands waters is currently not contributing substantially to observed declines in the local populations. Nevertheless, mortality could be further reduced by night setting and an increase in line weighting, especially during the breeding season of the Black-browed Albatross.


SAST was funded by the Falkland Islands Government, and we appreciate their continued support. The support and assistance of Grant Munro, CFL staff and crew of the Lyn, In Sung 66, Valiant and Pioneer was vital. The support of the FIFD and Fishery Patrol Officers, the crews of the Fishery Patrol Vessels Dorada and Sigma, as well as Byron Marine for Fishery Patrol Vessel transfers was critical. The at-sea data collection of FIFD observers David Tierney, Ross James and David Smith was instrumental. Thanks also to Nic Huin and Becky Ingham (FC) for constant help to SAST throughout the project. The Marine Resource Assessment Group (UK) provided SAST with a blank copy of the longline database used in the CCAMLR waters.


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