Because of man’s behavior, global warming has led to many natural habitats being destroyed, and as a consequence species of animals have either been destroyed or on the critical extinction list. Marine birds are particularly vulnerable and solutions are being sought to try and preserve these beautiful creatures before they are gone forever. There are three ways that the Birdlife International Marine Programme, is trying to stop the rot and help the decline of all seabirds.

  1. Promote conservation through sound means and practical science.
  2. To try and effect marine policy.
  3. To reduce bycatch.

Promote Conservation Through Sound Means and Practical Science

This method of preservation helps to stop the decline of seabirds with joint actions and in-depth research. By looking at biodiversity and how to manage marine sites effectively, action is taken on sound science applications that help protect the marine bird’s natural habitat. It is now possible to refine and collect data on any accidental bycatching on seabirds. This is done by utilizing a global e-atlas of important seabird areas around coasts and on the high seas.

There is also a tracking Ocean Wanderers database which is now the most in-depth compilation of seabird tracking. Using these scientific measures to give correct information it is possible to put together a more accurate picture of where the world’s seabird populations are and how to reduce bycatch in these areas.

To Try and Effect Marine Policy

Action and lobbying politicians for changes in marine policy is taken at national and global levels. Governments are advised on appropriate steps that can be taken to help preserve natural habitats and how to save the wildlife. The organizations that are responsible for sustainable management of fishery around the world are called RFMO’s (Regional Fisheries Management Organizations). The Birdlife Inernational Marine Programme conducted an inaugural review of every RFMO in the world, and the information gleaned by the review was not good. Most of the world’s RFMO’s were not addressing any bycatch issues. So, a program has been put into place that will help to ensure fishing vessels around the world adhere to good practice when it comes to bycatch.

Because of the highly useful Tracking Ocean Wanderers Database it is now possible to see any overlap and to map out fishing waters and seabird populations. The world’s five tuna commissions now implement a policy of longline vessels having to reduce bycatch.

To Reduce Bycatch

Bycatch is when birds and fish are caught unintentionally by fishermen. This is just plain criminal as it can easily be avoided by just educating the fishermen better and working with scientists to see how to be avoid this happening.

One of the most effective partnerships and community engagements as far as marine seabirds are concerned is the ATF (Albatross Task Force) which was formed in 2006. It is the first time that a team of international experts have come together to give advice on bycatch and how to help prevent it. In part two of our blog we will be discovering more of the regional advances in marine bird protection and how different organizations around the world are coping with trying to protect their habitats.