Key Takeaways

  • Fishers and ATF-Chile worked together to address seabird bycatch in the small-scale anchovy and sardine purse seine fishery.
  • The collaboration led to modifications to aspects of the traditional purse seine net that were identified as the highest risk to seabirds.
  • The “Modified Purse Seine (MPS)” reduced seabird by 98% while resulting in no decrease in target catch.

The Albatross Task Force in Chile (ATF-Chile) has spent the last decade working with small-scale purse seine fleet targeting anchovies and sardines to develop methods to mitigate seabird bycatch in the fishery.  Through a collaboration with the fleet, ATF-Chile identified the characteristics of the purse seine net that entangled the majority of the seabirds caught and trailed modifications to assess bycatch reduction and impacts to target catch.

The Modified Purse Seine (MPS) that was developed reduced seabird bycatch by 98% in the small-scale fishery whey have no negative impacts on target catch.  The MPS nearly eliminated seabird bycatch and did not affect the fishery.  Specific modifications included the removal of excess netting that prevented diving seabirds from surfacing, redesigning the buoy line, and decreasing the mesh size.

This collaboration (supported by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation) between the fishery, ATF-Chile, Birdlife International, and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, was recognized by “Premios Latinoamérica Verde” in 2019 but continues to expand implementation of MPS throughout the region.

See the guide below (spanish) by ATF-Chile that explains modifications made to the purse seine.

(PDF) Guía rápida autoreporte y mitigación, pesquería de cerco jurel, sardina y anchoveta centro-sur (ATF-Chile)