We integrated satellite-tracking data from black-footed albatrosses (Phoebastria nigripes; n = 7) and Laysan albatrosses captured in Alaska (Phoebastria immutabilis; n = 18) with data on fishing effort and distribution from commercial fisheries in the North Pacific in order to assess potential risk from bycatch. Albatrosses were satellite-tagged at-sea in the Central Aleutian Islands, Alaska, and tracked during the post-breeding season, July-October 2005 and 2006. In Alaskan waters, fishing effort occurred almost exclusively within continental shelf and slope waters. Potential fishery interaction for black-footed albatrosses, which most often frequented shelf-slope waters, was greatest with sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) longline and pot fisheries and with the Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepsis) longline fishery. In contrast, Laysan albatrosses spent as much time over oceanic waters beyond the continental shelf and slope, thereby overlapping less with fisheries in Alaska than black-footed albatrosses. Regionally, Laysan albatrosses had the greatest potential fishery interaction with the Atka mackerel (Pleurogrammus monopterygius) trawl fishery in the Western Aleutian Islands and the sablefish pot fishery in the Central Aleutian Islands. Black-footed albatrosses ranged further beyond Alaskan waters than Laysan albatrosses, overlapping west coast Canada fisheries and pelagic longline fisheries in the subarctic transition domain; Laysan albatrosses remained north of these pelagic fisheries. Due to inter-specific differences in oceanic distribution and habitat use, the overlap of fisheries with the post-breeding distribution of black-footed albatrosses is greater than that for Laysan albatrosses, highlighting inter-specific differences in potential vulnerability to bycatch and risk of population-level impacts from fisheries. ?? 2008 Elsevier Ltd.
Additional publication details
Post-breeding season distribution of black-footed and Laysan albatrosses satellite-tagged in Alaska: Inter-specific differences in spatial overlap with North Pacific fisheries