Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fisheries linked to decline in Galapagos waved albatross population

05.10.2006
Fishermen caught and killed about 1 percent of the world’s waved albatrosses in a year, according to a new study by Wake Forest University biologists.

“If that happens every year, that is not sustainable,” said Jill Awkerman, a Wake Forest graduate student who is the lead author of the study published online Sept. 26 in the journal Biological Conservation. “In a matter of decades, you could be talking about extinction.”

Awkerman’s research shows the waved albatrosses are unintentionally killed when caught in fishing nets or on fishing hooks, but are also intentionally harvested for human consumption.

She worked with David Anderson, professor of biology at Wake Forest, on the study. Since 1999, Anderson and his research team have studied survival rates of waved albatrosses on Española Island in the Galapagos Islands, located off the coast of Ecuador. Española is a small island where almost all of the waved albatrosses in the world nest and breed.

Identification bands from 23 waved albatrosses killed in 2005 were returned to the researchers by fishermen. The researchers put bands on a total of 2,550 albatrosses, so almost one out of every 100 birds is being killed unintentionally or intentionally by fishermen.

As part of the study, the researchers and colleagues in Peru also surveyed 37 major fishing communities to investigate albatross interactions with fisheries in the main areas where they forage for food off the Peruvian coast. They sent observers out on fishing vessels to find out what happens when fishermen encounter the giant seabirds. The observers found that some albatrosses became tangled accidentally in submerged gillnets. Although some of the birds caught in nets could be released, fishermen often killed them for food instead. The fishermen also intentionally caught albatrosses on baited hooks.

More males (82 percent of all captures) were killed than females, Awkerman said. That is particularly troubling because albatrosses require both parents to raise chicks. Fewer males in the population limit the number of breeding pairs. For a species that depends on a lifespan of several decades to successfully reproduce even one offspring that outlives the parent, the implications of their shortened lives are grim.

“Fishing mortality could be partially responsible for an apparent decline in the breeding population,” Awkerman said. “Our study puts together a frightening picture of what the potential for this species is. But, with educational outreach and further research there is potential to turn this around before too much damage is done.”

Communicating with the fishermen about the consequences to the species of killing each waved albatross is the key, Awkerman said. Collaborators in Peru continue discussions with both fishermen and government officials to address these conservation concerns. “Our study has already had a positive political effect, alerting the Ecuadorian and Peruvian Ministries of Environment of the problem occurring in their two countries, and they have recently had meetings to begin to deal with it,” Anderson said.

Cheryl V. Walker | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wfu.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Global threat to primates concerns us all
19.01.2017 | Deutsches Primatenzentrum GmbH - Leibniz-Institut für Primatenforschung

nachricht Reducing household waste with less energy
18.01.2017 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis

23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Electrocatalysis can advance green transition

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>