Investigators: Dr. Leigh Torres, Dr. Rachael Orben

High-seas fisheries are often considered the wild-west: out of sight and out of control. How, when and where albatrosses interact with fishing vessels in these regions is unknown, leaving a significant knowledge gap regarding their bycatch risk. This project aims to reduce this blind-spot and bring transparency to albatross-fisheries interactions in the North Pacific that will provide context for bycatch mitigation efforts by US fisheries managers. We are identifying fine-scale albatross-fishing interactions using AIS data processed by Global Fishing Watch to identify fishing events (http://globalfishingwatch.org/) and GPS tracking data from adult Laysan, and black-footed albatrosses, and juvenile short-tailed albatrosses provided by our collaborators.

As part of this project we are developing methods to identify and characterize fine-scale seabird-fisheries overlap to (1) assess the spatio-temporal distribution of overlap, and (2) identify contributing vessels, fisheries and nations, to inform bycatch mitigation and decision making by US fisheries managers.

More information about this project:

Some of our albatross tracks were collected from Laysan and black-footed albatrosses breeding on Midway Atoll in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands and you can read a blog post about that trip here.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Collaborators

David Kroodsma, Global Fishing Watch

Dr. Scott Shaffer, San Jose State University

Dr. Josh Adams, USGS, Western Ecological Research Center

Dr. Rob Suryan, Oregon State University

Kiyoaki Ozaki, Fumio Sato, Tomohiro Deguchi: Yamashina Institute for Ornithology, Abiko, Japan

 

Funding:

 NOAA’s Fisheries Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

High-seas fisheries are often considered the wild-west: out of sight and out of control. How, when and where albatrosses interact with fishing vessels in these regions is unknown, leaving a significant knowledge gap regarding their bycatch risk.