Gillnet fisheries as a major mortality factor of Magellanic penguins in wintering areas

Cardoso, Luis Gustavo; Bugoni, Leandro; Mancini, Patrícia Luciano; Haimovici, Manuel


The incidental capture in fisheries is probably the main conservation problem affecting seabirds. While the capture of albatrosses and petrels on longline hooks is well-known worldwide, the bycatch of diving seabirds in gillnets is an overlooked conservation problem. During a winter coastal fishing trip, the capture of Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus) was recorded in driftnet and bottom setnet fisheries for the first time in southern Brazil. The highest captures rates were found in driftnets, from 146.5 to 545.5 penguins/km2 of net and a total of 56 dead penguins were recorded. In the bottom gillnet, a total of 12 birds were killed and the capture rates varied from 41.7 to 125.0 penguins/km2 of net. Although preliminary, the results presented in this paper were consistent between sets. If we consider the magnitude of driftnet and setnet fishing fleets, and that most dead penguins were adults, the impact upon Magellanic penguin populations is probably significant.

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  • IO - Artigos publicados em periódicos