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Fishing bycatch provides poor nourishment for sea birds

by Selwyn Bergman
on 13 Feb 2008
Oceanography SA
Oceanography SA

A study conducted by a team of researchers has found that fishing bycatch, which is readily eaten by sea birds, have a lower nutritional value than their natural diet and that the bycatch should not be assumed to be beneficial to sea bird populations.

The team from Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Montpellier worked together with members from South Africa and the University of Birmingham to study the impact that fishing bycatch has on gannets on Malgas Island, close to Saldanha Bay.

Dr David Gremillet, a member of the research team, concluded in a publication that while non-breeding gannets benefit from fishery wastes, their chicks die when attempting to feed on the lower-quality food.

Dr Gremillet's paper was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, Biological Sciences.

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