From NC forum, but worth sharing

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From NC forum, but worth sharing

Postby bigsprig » Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:31 pm

This is a paraphrase or my edited version, you can see the entire article online.

Gill nets are killing thousands of ducks and other water birds.

Diving ducks, grebes, and loons are especially vulnerable on the East Coast of the United States and Canada. The highest reports of accidental catch are of Scaup, but mortality includes Ruddy Ducks, goldeneyes, mergansers, Canvasbacks, scoters, and Long-tailed Ducks, as well as Common and Red-throated Loons, and, further north, shearwaters, puffins, and gannets.

[b]One fisherman in North Carolina reported catching up to 300 Scaup in a single night, and another said that he removed his nets after he began to catch up to a hundred scaup per day for two or three days in a row.[/b]

Multiply this by the total number of fishermen, and it is clear that the threat is potentially large.

As migratory seabirds move from north to south in the winter, many stop to feed in North Carolina’s inshore waters. These same waters are home to winter gillnet fisheries for shad, southern flounder, sea trout, monkfish, and various other species.

The commercial and recreational gillnet fisheries in North Carolina are subject to some regulations restricting fishing areas, seasons, and gear specifications, primarily to protect sea turtles, but generally, North Carolina lags behind its Atlantic seaboard neighbors in mandating comprehensive restrictions. For example, unattended gillnets are illegal in South Carolina, whereas in North Carolina, attendance at gillnets is only mandatory in certain locations and for certain sizes of mesh. As a result, gillnets are often left unattended for long periods of time, increasing the probability of both accidentally catching birds, and the
likelihood that entangled birds will drown.

Efforts to better monitor these deaths are hampered by gaps in the commercial gillnet observer program, which lacks long-term sustainable funding.

Changing the color of the upper panel of the net reduced bird bycatch significantly, but by far the best overall mitigation was achieved when these gear modifications were combined with restrictions on fishing in the early morning, and limits on the number of days that the nets were active.

Trying to load link now. Could not load link, too much extra crap, but can get to it through this facebook page
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