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Article

Threats of Longline Fishing to Global Albatross Diversity

1
Department of Criminal Justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 524 West 59th Street, New York, NY 10019, USA
2
Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33199, USA
3
Independent Researcher, Santa Cruz, CA 95065, USA
4
Fenner School of Environment & Society, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Daniel Ramp
Animals 2022, 12(7), 887; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070887
Received: 3 December 2021 / Revised: 24 March 2022 / Accepted: 28 March 2022 / Published: 31 March 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife Crime: Issues and Promising Solutions)
This research examines the impact potential illegal longline fishing vessels have on albatrosses. Using environmental criminology as a guiding theoretical framework, this research: (a) examines the patterns of concentration of potentially illegal longline fishing efforts and their relationships with the spatial distributions of commercially sought-out and illegally-caught fish species; and (b) examines how their interactions affect the average risk of albatrosses. The results indicate that: (a) potentially illegal longline fishing activities are highly spatially concentrated in areas with the highest concentration of the presence of known illegally-caught fish species; and (b) the average risk score of albatrosses is significantly higher in areas where these illegal longline fishing vessels operate. These findings provide strong grounding that illegal longline fishing poses a particularly serious threat to the survival of seabirds. These findings also call for the bird conservation lobby to work closely with regional fisheries management organizations to devise and implement targeted interventions.
Albatrosses are among the most threatened seabird species. Often entangled in gillnets or hooked while longline fishing gear is being set, albatrosses are affected by fishing. This is assumed to be especially true in cases where illegal longline fishing vessels are involved, as they are less likely to implement the bycatch mitigation measures implemented to reduce the risk of albatrosses being caught on their hooks. This is the assumption that was tested in the current study, which uses environmental criminology as its guiding theoretical framework. Using the spatial units of one-half-degree by one-half-degree longitude/latitude cells, this research examined the patterns of concentration of potentially illegal longlining efforts and their relationships to commercially sought-out and illegally caught (i.e., CRAAVED—concealable, removable, abundant, accessible, valuable, enjoyable, disposable) fish species concentrations, as well as their effects on the average risk of albatrosses. The results indicated that (a) potentially illegal longlining activity is spatially concentrated; (b) this concentration is exhibited in areas with the highest concentrations of the presence of CRAAVED fish; and (c) the average risk score of albatrosses, as measured by their International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status, is significantly higher in the areas where illegal longlining vessels are found controlling for the activities of legal longlining vessels. These findings provide strong grounding that illegal longline fishing poses a particularly serious threat to the survival of albatrosses. These activities, however, are not randomly spread across the vast oceans, but rather are highly spatially concentrated. Therefore, the bird conservation lobby should work closely with regional fisheries management organizations to devise and implement targeted interventions aimed at reducing potential illegal longline fishing, which, in turn, will likely have positive effects on albatrosses. View Full-Text
Keywords: longline fishing; IUU; bycatch; policy; spatial econometrics; GIS; Diomedeidae longline fishing; IUU; bycatch; policy; spatial econometrics; GIS; Diomedeidae
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MDPI and ACS Style

Petrossian, G.A.; Pires, S.F.; Sosnowski, M.; Venu, P.; Olah, G. Threats of Longline Fishing to Global Albatross Diversity. Animals 2022, 12, 887. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070887

AMA Style

Petrossian GA, Pires SF, Sosnowski M, Venu P, Olah G. Threats of Longline Fishing to Global Albatross Diversity. Animals. 2022; 12(7):887. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070887

Chicago/Turabian Style

Petrossian, Gohar A., Stephen F. Pires, Monique Sosnowski, Prabha Venu, and George Olah. 2022. "Threats of Longline Fishing to Global Albatross Diversity" Animals 12, no. 7: 887. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070887

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