Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Posts Tagged ‘Fishing for energy’

June 2, 2009

Fishing line injury study: Pelicans most affected

A recent study has concluded, not surprising, that pelicans suffer the most fishing line injuries. Over 30% of the animals harmed by fish hooks and entangled fishing line were Brown Pelicans.

The report was published in the Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 45(2), 2009, pp. 355–362. The report was authored by Brynie Kaplan Dau including contributors, Jay Holcomb of Bird Rescue, Kirsten V. K. Gilardi and Michael H. Ziccardi of UC Davis’ Wildlife Health Center.

The study says that pelican injuries caused by fishing gear were most common in the Monterey Bay region, where 59.6% of the pelicans rescued and admitted to a rehabilitation center were injured by fishing gear over the 6-yr period.

The highest prevalence of fishing gear–related injury in gulls was documented in the Los Angeles/Orange County region (16.1%), whereas the highest prevalence is in pinnipeds (elephant and harbor seals) were seen in the San Diego region (3.7%).

A total of 9,668 cases were included in this study, of which 1,090 (11.3%) were fishing gear–related injuries.

To reduce risk of injury and death for coastal marine wildlife and people, the SeaDoc Society, a marine ecosystem health program of the University of California Davis Wildlife Health Center, launched the California Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project in 2005. To date, more than 11 tons of lost fishing gear have been removed from near shore marine waters surrounding the Channel Islands, and hundreds of pounds of recreational fishing gear (such as fishing line and hooks, tackle, and ropes) have been cleaned off public-access fishing piers.

To prevent the accumulation of discarded gear at these piers, mono-filament disposal stations have been established on many coastal public piers.

The paper was published in the Journal of Wildlife Diseases. Read the abstract

September 13, 2008

"Fishing for energy" turning trash into electricity

A new program beginning in New England hopes to turn discarded fishing tackle and ocean debris into electricity.

The “Fishing for Energy,” is an effort to work with coastal communities to reduce the amount of abandoned fishing gear that ends up in the nation’s oceans. It’s a joint project with Covanta Energy, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

The gear is collected and burned to generate power at a nearby Covanta incinerator. According to the company, the power plant is outfitted with emission control scrubbers that remove pollutants that might be released into the atmosphere from the burning of plastics and toxins in fishing debris.

Each year thousands of pounds of discarded fishing tackle affects the marine environment. At IBRRC we continue to see increasing numbers of birds – especially endangered Brown Pelicans – injured by fishing line, nets and hooks. See: Tangled in trash.

Read the media report