Trawlers must comply with new provisions to protect seabirds during fishing operations
Monday, September 09, 2019, 00:00 (GMT + 9)
Vessels operating with trawl systems will have to use “scarecrow lines” and other devices to reduce accidental catches of species such as albatrosses and petrels, among others.
The Undersecretariat of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Subpesca) has established new measures to protect seabirds during the operations of vessels using a trawling system.
According to resolution 2941, dated August 28, ships must use "scarecrow lines" and other devices to reduce the incidental catches of these birds.
Albatrosses, petrels, fardelas and seagulls, among other birds, accidentally hit the cables and nets of the boats, or become entangled in them during fishing tasks.
The provision, which applies to a total of 46 industrial vessels and six artisanal boats equiped with trawl nets will enter into force three months after the Official Gazette publishes the resolution.
These provisions will apply with respect to trawling of different resources, including: deep water shrimp, red squat lobster, common hake, Southem blue whitting, golden kingclip and Pacific pomfret.
One of the devices considered in the norm, the "scarecrow line" (LEP), consists of a string or colored garland, which prevents the approach of birds to the cove cable (which supports the nets).
In the case of medium or smaller vessels, meanwhile, the LEP may be replaced by a "bird buffer", structure or folding gate that prevents birds from approaching the cove cable.
Scarecrow lines applied to the trawl wire of the fishing net (Photo: Subpesca)
Some vessels, in addition, must have a pulley (snatch block), which also minimizes the risk of impact of the birds.
The resolution also provides for the fulfillment of a series of good practices that will contribute to reducing the interaction with the birds: setting the nets in the water at night, cleaning them properly and minimizing their exposure on the sea surface, among others.
The National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service (Sernapesca) will monitor compliance with these measures, whose violation will be sanctioned in accordance with the law.