Causes and implications of individual specialization in seabirds
Minimising bycatch of seabirds and sea turtles in West African industrial fisheries
Objective: Improve our knowledge of the bycatch impacts of different types of industrial fisheries and fishing gear on seabirds and marine turtles and of the most sensitive areas, build capacity on monitoring and research in West Africa and make all information and data available through databases.
Establish bycatch databases in at least 4 countries of the project and deliver data from the observer programme to the databases.
Support and supervise 2 ongoing PhD students undertaking EAF/ bycatch research and 6-8 MSc students to complete courses with EAF/ bycatch research components, with strategic input of 1 to 2 post-doctorate positions.
Ongoing research programme to assess the overlap between seabird and turtle bycatch and fisheries distributions (mostly based on existing seabird/turtle tracking data and VMS/AIS vessel data and data from the observer programme); and publish fisheries, seabird and turtle distribution maps including their overlap, maps and bycatch rates.
Investigate the origin of turtles and seabirds caught by fishing vessels in West African waters.
Investigate mechanisms of co-occurrences between fishing boats and seabirds.
Evaluating seabird movements and interactions with fisheries using an endemic and threatened shearwater along its Mediterranean range
Identify the main foraging areas of Puffinus yelkouan and their activity patterns along the Mediterranean and evaluate the potential overlap among different colonies/populations.
Define foraging habitat characteristics of Puffinus yelkouan, and explore the suitability of environmental variables as early predictors of the seabird distribution.
Assess and characterize the spatiotemporal overlap and interactions between Puffinus yelkouan, and the different types of fisheries operating from nearby harbours.
Evaluate the suitability of the current MPA network along the Mediterranean, through the spatial overlap among seabirds, fisheries and already-protected areas.
Alcyon Programme – Promoting the conservation of seabirds in Cabo Verde
Objective: Improve the knowledge and promote the conservation of Cape Verde seabirds.
Identify the main breeding areas for Cape Verde seabirds.
Monitoring the phenology and reproductive success of Cape Verde seabirds.
Identify and control the main threats both in the breeding areas and in the sea.
Determine the size and population trend of the different species of seabirds.
Knowing the foraging strategies and identify the most important feeding areas for seabirds during the breeding season.
Knowing the migration and the areas used outside the reproductive period.
Determination of the trophic ecology of each species through the analysis of regurgitated and stable isotopes and genetic analysis.
Training of biologists, protected area technicians and NGOs in research and monitoring techniques.
Raise awareness of the Cape Verdean population for the conservation of seabirds.
Preparation of an action and management plan for each seabird species of Cape Verde.