The black petrel (Procellaria parkinsoni) in pelagic waters off northern Chile: a southern extension to the known distribution and interactions with the pelagic longline fishery
During seabird censuses performed as part of scientific research looking into seabird bycatch onboard industrial pelagic longline vessels targeting swordfish (Xiphias gladius) we made the first documented records of black petrel (Procellaria parkinsoni) in the pelagic waters of northern Chile, considerably extending the species’ range southward. These observations were made during hauling operations in the austral winters of 2008, 2009 and 2010 between 23 degrees 00 seconds S and 32 degrees 49 seconds S. Black petrels were observed in 9.6% of censuses and a total of 10 birds were recorded. Despite the fact that this species fed upon discards and wastes generated during fishing, no incidental mortality was observed. Our results are relevant to the conservation of the black petrel in the south-eastern Pacific marine ecosystem, as they provide new information on species range and interactions with pelagic fisheries.