Bird Interactions with Shellfish Gear

SMAC Presentation on Bird Deterrents

The Southeastern Massachusetts Aquaculture Center on Cape Cod is in the process of conducting studies examining bird deterrents on aquaculture sites. This pdf exported from a power point presentation illustrates some of their imaginative solutions, but many approaches need more work and refinement.  With wide variability among locations, seasons and species, you may need multiple deterrents to avoid birds' acclimating to your site. Many sites show strong seasonality, so birds are only a problem for a few weeks a year. More research is planned for the 2022 growing season.

Are We Overestimating Risk of Enteric Pathogen Spillover From Wild Birds To Humans?

In this 2021 paper by Olivia M. Smith, William E. Snyder and Jeb P. Owen the authors note that despite numerous studies of enteric bacteria in wild birds, and policies to discourage birds from food systems, we lack a comprehensive understanding of wild bird involvement in transmission of enteric bacteria to humans. they propose a framework for understanding spillover of enteric pathogens from wild birds to humans.

Fact Sheet on Potential for Food-Borne Illness Caused by Bird Waste

The information in this fact sheet from Cape Cod Cooperative Extension (CCE) is based on a review of scientific articles on the topic of food safety impacts that bird waste may have on shellfish production. CCE has been working with a Master of Public Health student to better understand the risk from birds roosting on floating gear, in hopes that solutions can be found. With a recent report of human illnesses from Campylobacter tied to consumption of cultured oysters, this concern is likely to grow, and has regulatory agencies concerned about the potential for bird waste impacting human health.

Birds on Floating Gear Could Present Problems

This article from the December 2021 ECSGA newsletter describes some of the issues related to birds landing on floating shellfish gear, as well as some solutions in the pipeline.

Bird Interactions With Shellfish Gear Webinar

Read ECSGA Executive Director Bob Rheault's summary of a Feb. 17, 2021 webinar hosted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on issues relating to birds and aquaculture.

For more ideas, visit and check out their large variety of bird deterrent products.