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Espantaves Project: Reduction of incidental capture of seabirds in extractive fishing

Six devices presented to prevent accidental capture of seabirds during fishing

Click on the flag for more information about Spain SPAIN
Saturday, February 02, 2019, 01:30 (GMT + 9)

After a year of activity, the "Espantaves" project managed to design six devices to help avoid the accidental capture of seabirds during fishing, an undesired effect that harms both the fauna and the fishing sector.

In addition, it designed a container for the waste generated on board with an anisakis elimination system, which will help to reduce the concentration of this parasite in the marine environment.

These are the main results of the project, an initiative of ARVI, the largest Spanish fishing vessels owners association, and the Technological Center of the Sea (CETMAR), which were presented this week in Vigo, Galicia.

According to ARVI, the six scarecrow devices - two for each of the most affected fishing gears: trawl, surface longline and bottom longline - offer the fishery sector a product of proven efficacy already prepared for commercialization. These designs imply improvements such as the automatic start of the line of scarecrows or the modification of the mast height.

  

All TEDEPAD models are modular and configurable to adapt to the specific needs, whether space or process capacity of each boat.

In addition, during the project development, it was found that the fishing vessels waste tanks can be a very efficient device to reduce the presence of seabirds and, therefore, mitigate the incidental mortality during the work. This is due to the fact that this type of tanks temporarily store the waste and are discharged in batches to the sea in a discontinuous, controlled and rapid manner.

To take advantage of this option, "Espantaves" developed two types of tanks, incorporating or not the possibility of inertization of parasites (such as anisakis) present in viscera and other waste (result of fish processing on board), with a device called Tedepad®, developed by Marexi.

The scope of the "Espantaves" project covers the different possible scenarios: five different segments of national fleets and two assumptions for each of them: specific and optimized designs for newly built vessels and for ships already built and currently operating, taking into account security, operability, costs and maintenance criteria.

At the same time, the SEO/BirdLife team analyzed birds-fishing interactions, their causes and effects, and determined that fleet segments most affected by this problem are the longliners - due to the interaction with the hook - and bottom trawlers, because of the collision of the birds with cables or their incidental capture in the nets during fishing maneuvers.

The "Espantaves" project also included the crews training in the use and exploitation of the new scarecrow systems and devices, as well as in the way of treating the birds that are caught incidentally during fishing activities.

The project was coordinated by ARVI and developed with the collaboration of the Biodiversity Foundation, of the Ministry for the Ecological Transition, through the Pleamar Program, co-financed by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).

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