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A paper released last month found that 90% of the world's seabirds likely have plastic in their stomachs.Seabirds continually mistake plastic for fish eggs, devouring large amounts.Seafood is the critical source of protein for more than 2.5 billion people, but over-exploitation is cutting the catch by more than 1 million tons a year.Official catch data from FAO rarely includes small-scale, sport or illegal fishing and does not count fish discarded at sea.Paleczny and Hammil's research found that the tern family has fallen by 85%, frigatebirds by 81%, petrels and shearwaters by 79%, and albatrosses by 69%.Lascelles said: "Increased efforts should be made to rid seabird colonies of invasive species, reduce bycatch in fisheries or the ensnaring of birds in fish nets, and setting up conservation areas." Paleczny also called for the creation of international marine protected areas to cover the wide ranges of seabirds.Without swift, national action to protect the ocean's vast diversity of life from acidifying waters corals, shellfish, salmon and a whole host of beautiful creatures will be lost.
"This was a Herculean task that no one else has ever attempted.And then there is climate change and ocean acidification which threaten to flood nesting sites and disrupt food sources.Seabirds are about twice as likely as land-based birds to be threatened with extinction.It gives us an idea of the overall impact we're having." There are nearly 350 species of seabirds worldwide.