Seabird identification cards for fishing vessels operating in the Indian Ocean (English, Indonesian, Portuguese)
Seabirds are species that derive their sustenance primarily from the ocean and which spend the bulk of their time (when not on land at breeding sites) at sea. Seabirds are characterised as being late to mature and slow to reproduce; some do not start to breed until they are ten years old. To compensate for this, seabirds are long-lived, with natural adult mortality typically very low. These traits make any increase in human-induced adult mortality potentially damaging for population viability, as even small increases in mortality can result in population declines. Eight seabird families occur within the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) area of competence, either regularly or as breeding populations. Of these, the Procellariiformes (albatrosses and petrels) are the species most susceptible to being caught as bycatch in longline fisheries, and therefore are most susceptible to direct interactions with IOTC fisheries. These cards will help observers and fishers to identify seabirds caught by fishing vessels operating in the IOTC area of competence. Each card contains the common and scientific names of the seabird, its conservation status (CR - critically endangered, EN - endangered, VU - vulnerable, NT - near threatened), some information about its adult size (wingspan) and habitat as well as some key features for its identification. Distribution maps show the approximate range for each species in the IOTC area of competence.