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Is chumming for seabirds wrong?

Catarina Fagundes, January 5, 2013
 

Do you thing chumming to attract seabirds is wrong or may somehow affect the seabirds' populations? I believe that attracting seabirds with chemicals might not be the best but what do you think about grained fish guts or fish oil or even fresh fish?

Your comments and opinions will be very useful. Thanks!

Comments ( 3 )

Grant RW Humphries

Grant RW Humphries

Well I often wonder about that as well, particularly in areas which are highly visited by tour boats (Kaikoura, New Zealand for example).
The question is, are there long term effects on how seabirds forage if we provide a place for them to feed? It's often a problem in National Parks, where people feed the animals, and they become accustomed to humans. I just don't think there is any research yet to show that there are negative consequences to chumming.

William Mackin

William Mackin

I don't think it's much worse than feeding songbirds in your back yard. Compared to the many unintentional toxins and threats they are being exposed to, I think chum and offal are probably either neutral or beneficial. It definitely depends on where you are and what you are attracting them with.

Edward Abraham

Edward Abraham

One concern with chumming is that it attracts seabirds to vessels. They may then be more attracted to fishing vessels, where they will be at risk of being caught.

I once had a discussion with a longline fisher along these lines. They were operating in New Zealand's Hauraki Gulf and talked about how took great care not to let any fish waste go into the water, as they didn't want to attract the birds. Since they were taking care, they were frustrated with birders chumming to attract birds (and with recreational fishers chumming to attract fish).