The Fisheries Agency Worked Collaboration on Seabird Bycatch Mitigation with Domestic and Foreign Bird Conservation Societies
In 2020, the Fisheries Agency opened up collaboration with Taiwan Wild Bird Federation (TWBF) and Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) on “Seabird Bycatch Mitigation Project,” to carry out experiments on a suitable design and best practice of tori line for our fishing vessels. The vessels participating in the project, which are two Indian and three Pacific longline fishing vessels, have successively finished their trips back to Taiwan in 2021 and 2022. The expertise and scholars participating in the project are currently conducting research and analysis work on the data collected by the observers on board these five vessels. It is anticipated that the research outcome will bring the benefits to the improvement on the design of tori line used by fishing vessels flagged Taiwan, and will enhance the effectiveness of seabird bycatch mitigation.
The Fisheries Agency states that, Taiwan is one of the world’s important tuna longline fishing nations. It has the potential for the tuna longline fishing vessels to bycatch seabirds like albatross as operating at high latitudes. To decrease the threat on seabird survival, as a participant of many reginal fishery management organizations (RFMO), the Fisheries Agency has actively involved in the discussions on seabird mitigation issues at each conference and make relevant seabird mitigation measures adopted by the RFMOs being legalized domestically, to require our fishing vessels conduct at least two of the three seabird mitigation measures, including tori lines, line weighting and night setting.
The Fisheries Agency further states that, besides its active participation in inter-governmental international organizations, to fulfill its responsibility of seabird conservation, the Fisheries Agency has worked and collaborated with TWBF, RSPB and BLI before, such as the seabird mitigation workshops in 2004 and 2013, and Port-Based Outreach (PBO) at Port Louis in Mauritius in 2016 and 2018, which address platforms for industry, government and academia. In the near future, the Fisheries Agency is planning to collaborate again with TWBF and RSPB on composing a Seabird Id Guide to provide our observers with an additional tool for seabird species witness.
The Fisheries Agency lastly emphasizes that, for a sustainable fishery industry management, it is supposed to strike a balance between sustainable fishery resource utilization and proper marine ecological biodiversity conservation. The Fisheries Agency will continuously work and collaborate with TWBF, RSPB and domestic or foreign bird conservation societies on related seabird bycatch issues, to engage together in seabird resources conservation.
Contact person: Deputy Director-General Kuo-Ping LIN
Preparation for its fishing activity by the Indian tuna longline fishing vessel participating in the project (Photo by observer Wun-Huang, Wu)
Preparation for its tori line by the Pacific tuna longline fishing vessel participating in the project (Photo by observer Kun-Fa, Hsu)
Conduct of its tori line by the Indian tuna longline fishing vessel participating in the project (Photo by observer Wun-Huang, Wu)
Conduct of its tori line by the Pacific tuna longline fishing vessel participating in the project (Photo by observer Kun-Fa, Hsu)
Seabird witness by the observer on board the Indian tuna longline fishing vessel participating in the project (Photo by observer Andy, Hsu)
Seabird witness by the observer on board the Pacific tuna longline fishing vessel participating in the project (Photo by observer Wei-Ru, Tsai)