Protection of marine mammals and seabirds – continuation
The Hel Marine Station is the only institution on the Polish coast which effectively monitors and rehabilitates marine mammals. With this background Hel Station and WWF Poland have for many years worked together successfully on seal protection, as increasing population numbers seem to prove. However, last years showed growing mortality and conflicts with tourism and fishermen. Bycatch of mammals and seabirds is also one of the key problems. Rates of bycatch are still unknown and growing number of killed animals needs further analysis.
Project activities will help to reduce this pressure including by convincing fishermen to apply alternative gear to reduce bycatch.
Project activities will cover the whole Polish coastline. Activities for fishermen will be concentrated on the Gdansk bay and surroundings. The Kuling organisation, that is mainly active in the Vistula lagoon.
- To protect marine mammals and seabirds and their habitats from anthropogenic threats
- Rehabilitate sick or injured seals and release them to natural environment linked to continuous monitoring
- Limit mortality of birds and mammals by developing and applying alternative fishing gears
- Reduce disturbance of seals and seabirds from human activities, mainly in the Vistula lagoon (presence of guards, video monitoring of an important resting place)
- Increase acceptance and public awareness through education and information