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Good news for seabirds

Update of “Today, when you eat tuna, you’re killing an albatross [1]“.

The recommendation on the reducing incidental by-catch of seabirds in long-line fisheries (1) presented by the European Union, Brazil, Uruguay, South Africa and the United Kingdom (on behalf of overseas territories) was unanimously accepted this morning. The recommendation should be confirmed in plenary tomorrow.

The proposal recommends that at least two out of three mitigation measures (1- night setting 2- Bird-scaring lines /tori lines to deter birds from approaching the branch line 3- line weighting) should be applied in the area south of 25° South latitude to reduce seabird by-catches no latter than July 2013, as China had requested more time therefore a further delay of 6 months was accorded. Originally Japan wished that these techniques only be applied to certain “hot spots” which had been identified as problematic.

The Contracting Parties should also communicate data on seabird incidental catch each year. They are invited to suggest new techniques to reduce by-catch and are also encouraged to deploy these methods in the Mediterranean where for example Cory Shearwaters are caught in long-line fisheries.