Comprehensive estimates of seabird-fishery interactions for the US Northeast and mid-Atlantic

Authors: 

Hatch, J.M.

Year: 

2017

Journal/Publisher Name: 

Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystesm

Publisher Address: 

Page #s: 

1-12

Contact information: 

Joshua Hatch, Integrated Statistics, Inc., 16 Sumner St., Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA. Email: joshua.hatch@noaa.gov
Summary: 

Fisheries observer data from six gear types operating in the US Northeast and mid-Atlantic were analysed for seabird interactions. Between 1996 and 2014 an estimated 48,821 seabirds interacted with commercial fishing gear. This resulted in an estimated average interaction rate of 2,570 seabirds per year. The majority of interactions occurred in gillnet fisheries and involved shearwaters/fulmars. A comparison with previous work in the region was also conducted. This comparison highlighted the need for consistency in data preparation to relative trends in seabird bycatch in the region can be compared. Additional analysis should provide context for interaction estimates to allow for population-level impacts to be inferred.