"Fish Nets Found to Kill Large Numbers of Birds"

"Fishing vessels that deploy gill nets snare and drown at least 400,000 seabirds every year, and the actual figure could be considerably higher, according to research published in the June edition of an academic journal devoted to conservation."

"The study, in the journal Biological Conservation, uncovered reports of 81 species of birds killed by gill nets, including penguins, ducks and some critically endangered ones like the waved albatross. One of its three authors, Cleo Small, called the estimated toll a bare minimum, saying that data on the deaths from many areas were either nonexistent or too old to be useful.

'It’s quite startling,' said Dr. Small, who heads the global seabird program at the British conservation group BirdLife International, which sponsored the study. 'In Japan, for example, some populations have already been extirpated on islands. Some colonies have disappeared where there is gill net fishing, and in other areas they have dramatically declined.'"

Michael Wines reports for the New York Times June 12, 2013.

Source: NY Times, 06/14/2013