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DATE: December 7, 2018

SNIP: A study said there has been a 70% decline in seabird populations due to a combination of the fishing industry, pollution and habitat destruction.

The University of Aberdeen team looked at 1970-1989 and 1990-2010 timeframes.

They were assessing the degree of competition seabirds faced for prey species such as anchovy, sardines, mackerel, squid, krill and crustaceans.

The team found that the total annual seabird consumption of these decreased from 70 million tonnes to 57 million tonnes, while annual fishery catches went from 59 million tonnes to 65 million tonnes.

“This enhanced competition, in addition to other factors such as pollution, predation by invasive species on chicks, the destruction and changes in their habitat by human activities and environmental changes caused by climate change, puts seabirds at risk, making them the most threatened bird group, with a 70% decline over the past seven decades.