Buoys with looming eyes deter seaducks and could potentially reduce seabird bycatch in gillnets

Date du jour : 27.10.2021
Catégorie du document : Articles scientifiques
Discipline : Sciences participatives, Océanographie
Nom du ou des auteurs : Yann Rouxel, Rory Crawford, Ian R. Cleasby, Pete Kibel, Ellie Owen, Veljo Volke, Alexandra K. Schnell and Steffen Oppel
A retenir : Une bouée éfaroucheuse. Un système s'actionnant avec le vent permettant d'éloigner les oiseaux de mer des filets et palangres.
Résumé / Abstract : "Bycatch of seabirds in gillnet fisheries is a global conservation issue with an estimated 400 000 seabirds killed each year. To date, no underwater deterrents trialled have consistently reduced seabird bycatch across operational fisheries. Using a combination of insights from land-based strategies, seabirds' diving behaviours and their cognitive abilities, we developed a floating device exploring the effect of large eyespots and looming movement to prevent vulnerable seabirds from diving into gillnets. Here, we tested whether this novel above-water device called ‘Looming eyes buoy' (LEB) would consistently deter vulnerable seaducks from a focal area. We counted the number of birds present in areas with and without LEBs in a controlled experimental setting. We show that long-tailed duck Clangula hyemalis abundance declined by approximately 20–30% within a 50 m radius of the LEB and that the presence of LEBs was the most important variable explaining this decline. We found no evidence for a memory effect on long-tailed ducks but found some habituation to the LEB within the time frame of the project (62 days). While further research is needed, our preliminary trials indicate that above-water visual devices could potentially contribute to reduce seabird bycatch if appropriately deployed in coordination with other management measures."
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