Seabirds at the Far East will not suffer from long-lining fisheries
Production of strimmers is a result of long-term project implementation aimed at reduction of seabirds by-catch during long-line fishing. Presentation took place on board of “Kalam” fishing boat that belongs to “Kamchatka-Vostok” Russian company, the daughter enterprise of Akros Ltd. The latter company produced these first set of strimmers at their own factory.
Strimmer is a long rope with bright long plastic cords fixed along its entire length at ca. 5 meters interval. Two lines of strimmers are fixed at the rear end of the fishing vessel and are released along both sides of the baited long-line fishing gear when it is set in the sea. Testing results show that application of this simple method leads to 90% reduction in seabirds bycatch.
This project also demonstrates that ecological responsibility is economically profitable: strimmers help substantially reduce operational costs of fishing companies. “Without the strimmers about 2% of the hooks reach the bottom already without bait, and thus come back empty; as a result annual losses of all long-lining vessels at the Far East would be equal to 1 million USD if recalculated into money”, - tells Yury Artyukhin, executive project officer and expert from Kamchatka branch of the Pacific Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences.
First fisheries-related organisations that took part in this project are three fishing enterprises – Akros Ltd., Tymlatsky Fisheries Enterprise, and Uluul Ltd. Company, and also three fisheries research institutes – KamchatNIIRO, TINRO-Center, and Magadan-NIIRO. “This is a very good example of cooperation that demonstrates the fact that Far Eastern fisheries are getting more ecologically responsible, and that they are willing to participate in the dialogue with NGOs and with research institutions”, - says Anatoly Dekshtein, WWF Marine Programme coordinator.
In the nearest future the whole set of strimmers produced will be shared for free among the Far Eastern fishing companies that have long-lining operations and will be introduced in practice.