Albatross, petrels and gulls are commonly by-caught animals, which is any unwanted fish or other marine species entangled on strings, lines, nets or hooks, during commercial fishing for another species. Due to our seafood consumption, fishing vessels on the high seas are attractive to those seabirds.
According to organisations like BirdLife International, each year hundreds of thousands of seabirds are injured or killed due to ill-fated run-ins with fishing gear.
Also the American Bird Conservancy estimates that yearly 600,000 birds still fall prey to fishing vessels. (See “Sudden Death on the High Seas”). In order to help fisheries determining which birds might be at risk based on the region and gear type and which mitigation methods are necessary to avoid losing fish and seabirds, this website was created. (https://www.fisheryandseabird.info/)
It was 4 days of above zero during the cold month of March on the north shore of Iceland when I stumbled on hundreds of dead seabirds. I realized it was an ephemeral moment, an unique encounter between me and them. And I couldn’t helped reflecting upon our past civilizations when they looked
at nature in order to find out more about health, love and prosperity. Some of those omens and signs would come from birds, who are seen as portents of impeding calamity and death, while thought to bear or steal spirits of the dead.