|Continent||Central and Latin America|
|Date||7 Mar 2005|
Incidental mortality associated to fishing gears is the main problem for the conservation of nearly all albatrosses, many petrel species and other seabirds like shearwaters and penguins. High rates of incidental capture have been reported in long lines, gill nets and trawl fishing elsewhere. Several cases of seabird mortality have been recorded in coastal fisheries associated to different fishing gears. It has been estimated that 81% of the coastal fleet operating in Argentina works in Buenos Aires province and fishermen can use more than ten types of fishing gears, being trawl net the main one. An on board-observers program was settled in three ports of this province, to confirm the information given by fishermen in previous skills about the incidental capture of seabirds. We have confirmed the capture of Magellanic Penguin Spheniscus magellanicus and Great Shearwater Puffinus gravis in bottom trawls nets but the quantification of individuals captured and the presence of other species captured needs a long term on-board observer’s programme due to the high variation on capture rates along the year seasons. On the other hand our experience determined the necessity of implementing workshops and conferences for local community about conservation of seabirds and other marine organisms.
Management and conservation projects related to incidental capture of different organisms caused by Buenos Aires fishing fleet are nonexistent. This study will identify threats for endangered albatrosses, petrels, shearwaters and penguins produced by different fishing arts, and it will generate specific mitigation measures for each fishing art that will be submitted to fishery control organisms. This information will contribute to the creation of a specific action plan of injured species and habitat protective measures.
During the course of the project we will develop various activities related to this conservation problem in several educational centers of the cities affected by fishery activity, such as local community members (fomentation societies, NGOs, etc), through graphic, radial and TV broadcastings. Such activities contemplate introductory talks of the problem assisted with graphic material, activities for educators in different educational levels, as well as interviews with different local media, that cover the project area. The commitment of the local community members, students, governmental and non-governmental organizations will secure the impact of this project in the future.
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