Industrial fisheries are starving seabirds all around the world

  • Researchers found that annual seabird food consumption decreased from 70 to 57 million tonnes between 1970 and 2010.
  • Meanwhile, fisheries increased their catches of potential seabird prey from an average of 59 million tonnes in the 1970s and 80s to 65 million tonnes per year in recent years.

University of British Columbia

Industrial fisheries are starving seabirds like penguins and terns by competing for the same prey sources. Seabirds are now the most threatened bird group…

…This diminished food supply is putting seabirds at risk – making them the most threatened bird group – with a 70 per cent community-level population decline in the past seven decades.

“Since the 1970s and 80s, we’ve lost a quarter of all penguins and nearly half of the terns and frigatebirds,” said Grémillet. “Meanwhile, seabird-fishery competition continues to increase in areas such as the Asian shelves, Mediterranean Sea, Norwegian Sea and the Californian coast.”….

David Grémillet, Aurore Ponchon, Michelle Paleczny, Maria-Lourdes D. Palomares, Vasiliki Karpouzi, Daniel Pauly. Persisting Worldwide Seabird-Fishery Competition Despite Seabird Community Decline. Current Biology, 2018; DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.10.051