Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fisheries Linked To Decline In Galapagos Waved Albatross Population

Date:
October 9, 2006
Source:
Wake Forest University
Summary:
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. The 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.

A Galapagos waved albatross.
Credit: Image courtesy of Wake Forest University

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 Espaρola Island in the Galapagos Islands, located off the coast of Ecuador. Espaρola 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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wake Forest University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wake Forest University. "Fisheries Linked To Decline In Galapagos Waved Albatross Population." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 October 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061003191023.htm>.
Wake Forest University. (2006, October 9). Fisheries Linked To Decline In Galapagos Waved Albatross Population. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061003191023.htm
Wake Forest University. "Fisheries Linked To Decline In Galapagos Waved Albatross Population." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061003191023.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

AP (July 22, 2014) — An 80-year-old agave plant, which is blooming for the first and only time at a University of Michigan conservatory, will die when it's done (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

AP (July 22, 2014) — Sounding alarms about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, CDC Director Tom Frieden warned Tuesday if the global community does not confront the problem soon, the world will be living in a devastating post-antibiotic era. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins