One of the biggest threats that seabirds are facing is being incidentally killed as ‘bycatch’ in fisheries. In Europe, it is estimated that more than 200,000 seabirds are accidentally caught and killed by commercial fisheries every year. Threatened seaducks are caught in gillnets and shearwaters in longlines, driving these species ever closer to extinction.
Little is known about the scale and the scope of the bycatch problem in Cyprus, especially for seabirds, although incidental capture in fishing gear is an important pressure to threatened species such as sea turtles and the Mediterranean Monk Seal.
Coordinated by BirdLife International, project partners BirdLife Cyprus, Enalia Physis Environmental Research Centre, the Society for the Protection of Turtles and the University of Exeter have embarked on a three-year journey to better understand the problem of bycatch in Cyprus and to develop solutions.