The Vulnerability Assessment for the Falmouth Bay to St Austell Bay proposed Special Protection Area (pSPA) identified that mortality as a result of entanglement in fishing gear whilst birds forage within the water column, or potentially when attempting to feed on fish entangled in nets, may present a potential impact to the future conservation of the bird features. It was agreed by both Natural England and Cornwall IFCA that the implementation of an incidental bycatch monitoring program would be a risk-based approach to better understand the interaction between the bird features and set/fixed net activities occurring in the area.
This report details the analysis from the first year of this ongoing project. It will be used to better inform future monitoring of the feature species, and will provide evidence for impact assessments on proposed activities within the SPA. Further analysis of this data combined with data collected in subsequent years will contribute to management decisions for the site.