World Oceans Day – focus on seabirds

10th June 2020

We’ve extended World Oceans Day celebrations throughout the week, to highlight the range of work done in this area by our partners. Today, the RSPB’s Nina Da Rocha explains some of the work they do in the marine world.


The RSPB works to protect seabird populations both in the UK and elsewhere. This is done through a wide range of activities, from exciting citizen science projects such as Project Puffin in which people can submit photos of puffins carrying food in their bills to build up a long-term dataset of dietary changes, to island restoration work aimed at enhancing breeding conditions for roseate terns and extensive tracking studies to identify marine hotspots for some of the UK’s most threatened seabirds.

Our marine policy work aims to address the breadth of threats faced by seabirds and deliver political and policy change to alleviate them. From lobbying for amendments to the UK Fisheries bill, to inputting to development of meaningful Scottish and English Seabird Conservation Strategies. Through engagement in the development of marine spatial plans and the designation of marine protected areas, we hope to reduce the cumulative threats to seabirds from anthropogenic sources.

The RSPB also hosts with BirdLife International Marine Programme and is committed to reducing bycatch is some of the deadliest fisheries for seabirds around the world. By showing fishing crews simple ways to stop killing seabirds and working with governments to implement regulations, our Albatross Task Force has demonstrated that seabird bycatch can be reduced by over 90% in trawl and longline fisheries. We are also currently working with BirdLife partners globally to identify technical solutions to seabird bycatch in gillnet fisheries – estimated to be killing 400,000 seabirds every year. You can read more about this work here.

You can read more about how the RSPB is working towards a sustainable ocean here.