Polar Biology

, Volume 29, Issue 9, pp 745–753 | Cite as

Mitigation of seabird mortality on factory trawlers: trials of three devices to reduce warp cable strikes

  • B. J. SullivanEmail author
  • P. Brickle
  • T. A. Reid
  • D. G. Bone
  • D. A. J. Middleton
Original Paper


Experimental trials were conducted onboard a stern trawler to identify the relative efficacy of three emerging mitigation measures (tori lines, warp scarer and Brady baffler) designed to reduce seabird mortality caused by warp cable strikes. The use of mitigation measures was clearly shown to substantially reduce seabird mortalities from collisions between seabirds and warp cables. Based on an established significant relationship between contact rate and seabird mortality, when using contact rate as an index of mortality there was a clear performance hierarchy of the three measures. Tori lines and the warp scarer were significantly more effective at reducing contacts than the Brady Baffler, whilst tori lines represent a smaller, but still significant, improvement on the warp scarer. While further testing would be required under local environmental and operational conditions, our findings are likely to have application for many trawl fisheries around the world.


Mitigation Measure Contact Rate Falkland Island Trawl Fishery Giant Petrel 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The Falklands Conservation Seabirds at Sea Team’s component of the trials was jointly funded by the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO) Save the Albatross Fund, the Falkland Islands Government, Fortuna Ltd., and Peter Harrison MBE and we appreciate their support. The support of the Falkland Islands Fisheries Department (FIFD), especially John Barton MBE (Director of Fisheries) has been critical to these trials. Thanks also to the crews of the Fishery Patrol Vessels Dorada and Sigma, and operators Byron Marine, for transfers. Thanks also to the Australian Antarctic Division and Australian Fisheries Management Authority for supporting our use of their data collection protocols. Tim Stenning provided line drawings and his assistance constructing the warp scarer was vital. Dr. David Agnew (Renewable Resources Research Group, Imperial College) and Dr. Graham Robertson (Australian Antarctic Division) provided helpful feedback on earlier analyses of these data. We are particularly grateful to the management Golden Touza Ltd. and the crew of the Hermanos Touza, particularly Alberto Vazquez (Captain) and Angel (Bosun) for their assistance and support.


  1. Bartle JA (1991) Incidental capture of seabirds in the New Zealand subantarctic squid trawl fishery, 1990. Bird Conserv Int 1:351–359CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Brothers N (1991) Albatross mortality and associated bait loss in the Japanese longline fishery in the Southern Ocean. Biol Conserv 55:255–268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brothers N (1996) Longline fishing dollars and sense: catching fish not birds using bottom set or mid-water set longlines. Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service, HobartGoogle Scholar
  4. CCAMLR (1998) Schedule for conservation measures in force, 1998–1999. Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, HobartGoogle Scholar
  5. Crawley MJ (2002) Statistical computing: an introduction to data analysis using S-plus. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  6. Croxall JP, Rothery P, Pickering SPC, Prince PA (1990) Reproductive performance and recruitment and survival of wandering albatrosses Diomedea exulans at Bird Island, South Georgia. J Anim Ecol 59:775–796CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Falkland Islands Government (2004) Fisheries Department fisheries statistics, Vol 8, 2003:72 pp. Stanley, Falkland Islands Government Fisheries DepartmentGoogle Scholar
  8. Falkland Islands Government (2002) Scientific report, Fisheries Research Cruise ZDLH1-10-2001. Falkland Islands Government Fisheries Department, StanleyGoogle Scholar
  9. Hooper J, Agnew D, Everson I (2003) Incidental mortality of birds on trawl vessels fishing for icefish in Subarea 48.3. WG-FSA-03/79. Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, HobartGoogle Scholar
  10. Nel DC, Ryan P, Watkins BP (2002) Seabird mortality in the Patagonian toothfish longline fishery around the Prince Edward Islands, 1996–2000. Antarct Sci 14:151–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. R Development Core Team (2004) R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria.
  12. Reid TA, Sullivan BJ (2004) Longliners, black-browed albatross mortality and bait scavenging: what is the relationship? Polar Biol 27:131–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Robertson G, Gales R (eds) (1998). Albatross biology and conservation. Surrey Beatty and Sons Chipping Norton, NSW, AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  14. Scientific Committee for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (2001) Report of the 20st meeting of the scientific committee. CCAMLR, HobartGoogle Scholar
  15. Scientific Committee for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (2002) Report of the 21st meeting of the scientific committee. CCAMLR, HobartGoogle Scholar
  16. Seafood New Zealand (2002) Volume 10, 60–61Google Scholar
  17. Solow AR (1989) Bootstrapping sparsely sampled spatial point patterns. Ecology 70:379–382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Sullivan BJ, Reid TA (2003) Seabird mortality and trawlers in Falkland Island waters 2002/03. Falklands ConservationGoogle Scholar
  19. Sullivan BJ, Reid TA, Bugoni L (2006) Seabird mortality on factory trawlers in the Falkland Islands and beyond. Biol Conserv (in press)Google Scholar
  20. Sullivan BJ, Reid TA, Bugoni L, Black A (2003) Seabird mortality and the Falkland Islands trawling fleet. WG-FSA-03/91. Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, HobartGoogle Scholar
  21. Venables WN, Ripley BD (2002) Modern applied statistics with S. 4th edn. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New YorkGoogle Scholar
  22. Weimerskirch H, Brothers N, Jouventin P (1997) Population dynamics of wandering albatross Diomedea exulans and Amsterdam albatross D. amsterdamensis in the Indian Ocean and their relationships with long-line fisheries: conservation implications. Biol Conserv 79:257–270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Weimerskirch H, Catard A, Prince PA, Cherel Y, Croxall JP (1999) Foraging white-chinned petrels Procellaria aequinoctalis at risk: from the tropics to Antarctica. Biol Conserv 87:273–275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Wienecke B, Robertson G (2002) Seabird and seal–fisheries interactions in the Australian Patagonian toothfish Dissostichus eleginoides trawl fishery. Fish Res 54:253–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. J. Sullivan
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • P. Brickle
    • 3
  • T. A. Reid
    • 1
  • D. G. Bone
    • 4
  • D. A. J. Middleton
    • 3
    • 5
  1. 1.Seabirds at Sea Team, Falklands ConservationStanleyFalkland Islands
  2. 2.BirdLife Global Seabird ProgrammeRoyal Society for the Protection of BirdsBedfordshireUK
  3. 3.Falkland Islands Fisheries Department (FIFD)StanleyFalkland Islands
  4. 4.British Antarctic Survey (BAS)CambridgeUK
  5. 5.New Zealand Seafood Industry CouncilWellingtonNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations