Tracking North Pacific Albatrosses to Understand Fishery Interactions

July 28, 2022

Rachael Orben, Assistant Professor (Senior Research), Oregon State University, Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences

Understanding what drives the interactions between albatross and fisheries operations can offer resource managers new perspectives on strategies to reduce negative encounters, thereby promoting ocean management and albatross conservation. Albatross populations worldwide have been severely impacted by mortalities from long-line fisheries interactions where birds consume bait, become hooked, and then drown. Although albatross can be attracted to fishing vessels, simple overlap between albatross and fisheries distributions does not equate to negative interactions for all birds. Thus, individual-based perspectives can offer insights into the conditions under which albatross approach fishing vessels. Our team is using novel radar detecting biologging devices to identify albatross-vessel encounters within and surrounding the Papahānaumokuākea to better understand the impacts of fisheries on albatrosses in the North Pacific.

This presentation is part of the Monthly Presentation Series at Mokupāpapa Discovery Center, which is the visitor center for Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in Hilo, Hawaiʻi. This lecture series is also supported by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation through a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.