Movements and diving behaviour of white-chinned petrels: Diurnal variation and implications for bycatch mitigation
This article is also noted in the 2021 Seabird Bycatch Working Group online conference documents as ACAP SBWG10 Inf 01.
Many seabirds dive to forage, and the ability to use this hunting technique varies according to such factors as morphology, physiology, prey availability, and ambient light levels. Proficient divers are more able to seize sinking baits deployed by longline fishing vessels and may return them to the surface, increasing exposure of other species. Hence, diving ability has major implications for mitigating incidental mortality (bycatch) in fisheries. Here, the diving behaviour and activity patterns of the most bycaught seabird species worldwide, the white-chinned petrel (Procellaria aequinoctialis), tracked from Bird Island (South Georgia), are analysed. Three data sources (dives, spatial movements, and immersion events) are combined to examine diverse aspects of at-sea foraging behaviour, and their implications for alternative approaches to bycatch mitigation are considered. The tracked white-chinned petrels (n = 14) mostly performed shallow dives (