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Anthony W. J. Bicknell, Daniel Oro, Kees (C.J.) Camphuysen and Stephen C. Votier Potential consequences of discard reform for seabird communities Journal of Applied Ecology 50

Article first published online: 21 MAR 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12072

Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy and global discard declines are essential components towards creating sustainable fisheries, but may have both detrimental and beneficial effects on seabird communities. The nature of these impacts is still poorly understood, highlighting the need for detailed long-term seabird monitoring, as well as building resilience into populations through policy measures that incorporate remedial action on major seabird conservation priorities. Research should focus on understanding how seabird foraging, in terms of functional responses and searching behaviour, is influenced by both changing discards and natural fish prey availability, and how they impact upon fitness. It is also essential to link individual-level responses with population-, community- and ecosystem-level change. Understanding these links is fundamental to ongoing seabird management and conservation, and an ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management.

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