The Puget Sound-Filey Bay Exchange.

As GAP2 fishermen, scientists and policy makers travel around the world to learn more about successful collaboration, you can follow their progress by reading their blogs. And if you want to get involved yourself – find out more about the GAP2 Exchange here.

The Puget Sound-Filey Bay Exchange

  • Rory Crawford (senior policy officer for the BirdLife International marine programme), Rex Harrison (fisherman from Filey Bay in Yorkshire) and Katrina Borrow (Communications Officer at the GAP2) travel from England to visit the Puget Sound, part of the GAP2’s study in reducing seabird by-catch from gillnets.
  • Email:


There is rising concern in relation to the effects of using gillnets as a fishing method in relation to non-target species bycatch, particularly by-catch of seabirds. Such an environmental cost is under going scrutiny as fisheries aspire to an ecosystem-based approach. Studies suggest that diving birds (such as penguins, auks and loons) and seabird populations in temperate and sub-polar regions are particularly affected by this fishing method, yet this issue is present – and under-researched – globally.

The development of technical mitigation measures has thus far been limited, and there are few known solutions to this conservation problem. In a few areas ideas for and testing of such mitigation efforts has been developed by fishermen, such as the higher visibility nets of salmon and sea trout netsmen in Filey Bay, Yorkshire, which have reduced the bycatch of guillemots and razorbill populations. Another example can be found in Puget Sound, USA where sockeye salmon fishermen use specifically modified ‘bird nets’.

The purpose of this GAP2 exchange project is to link together fishermen (who are adapting and developing solutions) and BirdLife International, to in turn develop evidence-based solutions to bycatch and have them adopted by high-level fisheries management fora. This project will play a critical role in improving the understanding of this conservation issue, building connections between fishermen, scientists and policy-makers and supporting a global movement to reduce gillnet bycatch of birds globally.

Puget Sound Exchange – New Film!

A new film from the GAP2 exchange program - documenting Rex & Rory's adventures investigating bird bycatch in Puget Sound.

Nov 2014
Seabird Bycatch Mitigation, Orcas & Beer

Back and brimming with ideas, Birdlife International's Rory Crawford reflects on his hopes and learnings during a visit to Puget Sound, with Filey Bay fisherman Rex Harrison.

Oct 2014
Pioneering Pontoons in Puget Sound

GAP2 Comms Officer, Katrina Borrow, writes about her experiences on GAP2 exchange - learning about bird bycatch in the Puget Sound salmon fishery, WA

Sep 2014
Puget Sound exchange: Birdlife blog

Blogpost by senior policy officer the the BirdLife marine programme, Rory Crawford , who is taking part in one of GAP2s new exchange projects to Puget Sound this September.

Aug 2014
Saving seabirds in Seattle: New exchange!

GAP2 Comms Officer Katrina Borrow blogs about her upcoming trip to Seattle, as part of the GAP2 exchange programme.

Aug 2014