Potential interactions between wandering albatrosses and longline fisheries for Patagonian toothfish at South Georgia
We examine the extent of overlap between South Georgia wandering albatrosses (Diomedea exulans) and local longline fishing for Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides), using satellite-tracking data and precise haul locations, respectively. We conclude that D. exulans breeding at South Georgia have a relatively low potential risk of interaction with longline fisheries around South Georgia between December and February (incubation period) and between late May and October (main chick-rearing period). However during the chick-brooding period, from March through mid-May, adult birds of both sexes spend most of their time at sea over the South Georgia continental shelf in areas very similar to where the longline fishery operates and are therefore at serious risk from these fisheries at this time. Until fishing methods which do not catch albatrosses are in comprehensive use, we recommend that the South Georgia longline fishery for D. eleginoides should be managed in such a way as to avoid fishing between the end of February and mid-May.