Simple change to fishing gear saves thousands of birds in Namibia

Read the full story in The Guardian.

A cheap and simple change to the equipment used by Namibian fishing boats is saving tens of thousands of vulnerable seabirds annually, researchers have estimated.

Some industrial fleets often use long lines fitted with thousands of baited hooks, which attract seabirds. In attempting to snatch away the bait, the birds can become tangled in the lines and die.

But by fitting pieces of red or yellow hosepipe, each a few metres long, to separate lines towed behind boats, they have succeeded in scaring away the birds and preventing huge numbers of deaths, according to a study in the Biological Conservation journal.

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