Iceland: Scientists Propose Seabird Hunting Ban

Posted on06 January 2012. Tags: , , , , , ,

The majority of members on Iceland’s working group on  the protection of sea birds have controversially decided that complete  protection of five species is the only way to strengthen their numbers.

The associations of farmers and hunters have both criticised the working  group’s conclusion; saying that hunting and other exploitation (such as egg  collecting) have little effect on the bird stocks and their continued downward  spiral is first and foremost down to food shortages.

“It was the opinion of the majority that a hunting ban could speed up the  recovery of these stocks,” biologist and work group chairman Sigurður Þráinsson  told RÚV. “There hasn’t been a decent rise in the puffin population at all in  recent years. Many years’ chicks are missing from the stock almost entirely. All  extra individuals will help to regenerate the stock. We don’t know what  happened; but of course they need food.”

Whether or not the stock is heading for an outright collapse if the working  group’s recommendation is not followed, Sigurður believes not.

“Maybe not a complete collapse, but the stocks will remain on the downward  slope, and a faster downward slope than food shortages alone would cause.”

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Environmentalist, Animal Lover, Birder,Equastrian
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