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"We can see how industrial fisheries from developing countries are robbing these people of livelihoods and food.

But now seabirds seabird abundance has dropped 69.7% in only 60 years, according to a recent paper in PLOS ONE.

Edd Hammill with Utah State University and co-author of the paper, noted: "What we should take away from this is that something is serious amiss in the oceans." Ben Lascelles, with Birdlife International, found the research alarming because the decline appeared practically indiscriminate, hitting a "large number of species across a number of families." Michelle Paleczny with the University of British Columbia and the Sea Around Us Project said: "When we see this magnitude of seabird decline, we can see there is something wrong with marine ecosystems.

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.

"Because if we rebuild stocks, we can rebuild to more than we thought before." There has been success in some places where fishing has been restricted for a few years, for example in the Norwegian herring and cod fisheries. Pauly said: "I don't see African countries, for example, rebuilding their stocks, or being allowed to by the foreign fleets that are working there, because the pressure to continue to fish is very strong.

We know how to fix this problem but whether we do it or not depends on conditions that are difficult." A 2015 study showed nearly 500 Chinese fishing vessels operating off west Africa, with scores of cases of illegal fishing, according to Greenpeace.In the end, large-scale actions to help seabirds could also go a long way in cleaning-up our increasingly trashed marine ecosystems."The oceans are still woefully under protected and fisheries need greater management and enforcement.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.All of these activities need investment and support of governments around the world to make them happen," Lascelles said.

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