Date: 1/12/21 7:13 am
From: <badgerboy...>
Subject: Re: NC Seabirds
Thanks Dave for calling attention to this seabird fish consumption
study, apparently instigated by the fishing industry. Please remember,
the net effect of any wildlife on the ecosystem is much more than just
their consumption. This is NOT a dig at the study or those who carried
it out.

Cormorants aint pretty, and they aint terribly popular among birders or
wildlife management agencies, not to mention with the general public and
fisheries people.

However, their role in the recycling of marine nutrients to coastal
ecosystems is major, they are one of the birds that roost above coastal
wetlands and return massive amounts of organic material to fishery
nursing areas, making them a real keystone species for productive
coastal ecosystems and productive fisheries in the long term. This
benefits all our birds and other wildlife. Birds such as Gannets and
Gulls provide much less of this as they tend to roost at sea. In
contrast, practically zero of the marine nutrients taken by industry
trawlers are returned to fish nursery areas.

Through fish predation, Cormorants' active selection of fitness in fish
populations off, and near the coast is also a major feedback to
ecosystem productivity. This is different from people's fishing activity
which doesn't discriminate what kind of fish get in the net.

There's a real temptation to scapegoat common birds like cormorants for
the declining wildlife stocks, which are caused by people and their
fossil-fueled harvesting, that gives nothing back to the system. I ask
birders to resist that.

Guy McGrane, Boone, NC

On 1/12/2021 7:49 AM, David Gibson (via carolinabirds Mailing List) wrote:
> I thought some of you might be interested in this short Center for
> Conservation Biology piece
> <;!!OToaGQ!7yb4lZP7WmExO6UlQv9zlgvUO3KaNUBH-rtGJwRK6FwaLihywtqfPVfaexvOEBlZaSU$>
> about seabirds (cormorants, pelicans, etc.) along the NC coast. The
> aerial photos are fascinating.
> Dave Gibson
> <;!!OToaGQ!7yb4lZP7WmExO6UlQv9zlgvUO3KaNUBH-rtGJwRK6FwaLihywtqfPVfaexvOYQXLGEQ$>

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