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The 'bird scaring lines' saving thousands of Namibia's birds

Industrial fishing nets are a major threat to sea birds. Many become tangled in the lines, and over 20,000 thousand used to be killed this way in the waters around Namibia every year.

But now an incredibly simple technique seems to have dramatically improved the situation, according to a new study - with just 215 birds killed in 2018.

And the secret? Namibia's fishermen are now required to tie coloured pipes to their boats as a kind of marine scarecrow.

Titus Shaanika is a Namibian conservationist and co-author of the research in the Biological Conservation journal.

"We've had government backing, it's become a law. And through making it a law it has become easy to make fishermen understand the importance of it and the benefit of it."

Photo: The sea 'scarecrows' in action. Credit: Titus Shaanika, Namibia Nature Foundation)

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2 minutes