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It gives us an idea of the overall impact we're having." There are nearly 350 species of seabirds worldwide.Living on both the open ocean and the shoreline, they face overfishing, drowning in fishing lines or nets, plastic pollution, invasive species like rats in nesting areas, oil and gas development and toxic pollution moving up the food chain."We can see how industrial fisheries from developing countries are robbing these people of livelihoods and food.We can also see, that in efforts to stem declines, we have been using more and more bycatch that was once thrown away." Seabirds have been around for sixty million years, and they are true survivalists: circumnavigating the globe without rest, diving more than 200 meters in treacherous seas for food, braving unpredictable weather and finding their way with few, if any, landmarks.All of these activities need investment and support of governments around the world to make them happen," Lascelles said."These actions will build resilience in the seabird populations in the short term, which they need in the face of emerging threats such as climate change." Scientists call it Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC).Paleczny and Hammil's research found that the tern family has fallen by 85%, frigatebirds by 81%, petrels and shearwaters by 79%, and albatrosses by 69%.Lascelles said: "Increased efforts should be made to rid seabird colonies of invasive species, reduce bycatch in fisheries or the ensnaring of birds in fish nets, and setting up conservation areas." Paleczny also called for the creation of international marine protected areas to cover the wide ranges of seabirds.
We need your help to ask President Barack Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency to get working on a bold plan to curb ocean acidification."Because if we rebuild stocks, we can rebuild to more than we thought before." There has been success in some places where fishing has been restricted for a few years, for example in the Norwegian herring and cod fisheries. Pauly said: "I don't see African countries, for example, rebuilding their stocks, or being allowed to by the foreign fleets that are working there, because the pressure to continue to fish is very strong.We know how to fix this problem but whether we do it or not depends on conditions that are difficult." A 2015 study showed nearly 500 Chinese fishing vessels operating off west Africa, with scores of cases of illegal fishing, according to Greenpeace.But now seabirds seabird abundance has dropped 69.7% in only 60 years, according to a recent paper in PLOS ONE.
Edd Hammill with Utah State University and co-author of the paper, noted: "What we should take away from this is that something is serious amiss in the oceans." Ben Lascelles, with Birdlife International, found the research alarming because the decline appeared practically indiscriminate, hitting a "large number of species across a number of families." Michelle Paleczny with the University of British Columbia and the Sea Around Us Project said: "When we see this magnitude of seabird decline, we can see there is something wrong with marine ecosystems.
Prof Daniel Pauly, at the University of British Columbia in Canada and who led the work, said the decline is very strong and "is due to countries having fished too much and having exhausted one fishery after another." Prof Boris Worm, at Dalhousie University in Canada and not involved in the new research said.