Apart from the international plans, some countries _except for Spain have adopted National Action Plans to Reduce the Incidental Bycatch of Marine Birds which remark the importance of the topic. These plans like other reference document contain specific information about the way to reduce the incidental bycatch. The solutions can be technical or operational and focused on longline or trawling fisheries.
There are different technical measures like acoustic dissuasive tools, water cannons, laser use and others. However, the only one implemented with efficacy to a certain extent, which is adjustable to longline and trawling is the so-called bird-scaring lines (tori poles). A voluntary or compulsory use in line with the fishing operations would work better if the onboard procedures were given serious consideration and more innovation. Nowadays the installation depends on the vessel owners basing on certain guidelines and their own experience. One of the goals in this project is the generation of tailor-made designs for every type of fleet.
Regarding the operational measures, they are also voluntary and only compulsory for fisheries within National Action Plans. They are all rather unworkable or disaccording with the routines onboard. The most reasonable is the one that instead of allowing the constant release of organic wastes from the gunwale to the sea which attracts the birds, intends to do it at regular interval when it is less dangerous for birds _for example avoiding the moment of tacking in trawlers. The subsequent problem, which is one of the goals of this project, is the accumulation in the vessel’s processing area of the wastes. They should be properly kept according to the health regulation in a storage big enough to be quickly empty in the right moment. The biggest constraint may not be the design but the adaptation to the minimum available space that do not interfere with the activity onboard.
The global objective of ESPANTAVES is the mitigation and/or elimination of the incidental catch of seabirds by the design of new bird-scaring devices and new protocols of waste management onboard.
The specific objectives are the following:
- To avoid the seabirds interaction with the trawlers by the design of specific bird-scaring devices.
- To avoid the seabirds interaction with the longliners by the design of specific bird-scaring devices significantly improved.
- Design of new systems for storing fish waste onboard and modifications of their management to reduce the attraction of seabirds.
- Awareness of the fleet about the problem of the incidental catch of seabirds and information about changes and suitable mitigation measures.
An important and associated objective is to contribute to the control of the expansion of parasites, especially anisakiasis. It has been scientifically proven that throwing back to the sea the guts generated in the vessel’s processing area with the subsequent integration into the trophic chain highly increases the possibility of this parasite to complete successfully its biological cycle and therefore the fish biomass become more and more affected. The only strategy to control this trend is treating wastes thermally because there are technologies developed with this purpose. The ESPANTAVES Project will include these technologies in the design of storage as a necessary and innovative item that offers a high added value to the expected results.