We are proud to announce the first German campaign, "Operation Sturmmöwe" (Operation Common Gull).
Every spring a large colony of Common Gulls nests in one of the harbor areas (Überseehafen) in Bremen, Germany. The Common Gull is not a threatened species, but the potential nesting grounds are disappearing rapidly due to ever expanding construction sites. The few nesting grounds that are left are also well-known destinations for locals to walk in, observe and take pictures of the nestlings.
In 2013 all of the colony's eggs were stolen and an entire generation wiped out. The Common Gull is protected under the Federal Conservation Law. The illegal taking or trading of the eggs are punishable with up to three years in prison.
It is obvious that natural predators like the fox did not take the eggs as no eggshells were found. Common Gull eggs are regarded as a delicacy so they are in constant demand and the sale is good business on the black market.
Sea Shepherd Germany’s Operation Common Gull aims to protect the colony against the illegal looting activities and to raise awareness for conservation laws. Volunteers from all over Germany will monitor the nesting area 24/7 from April to June and report any illegal activity to the local authorities. The patrols are equipped with donated cameras and night vision devices.
A former fire truck serves as the mobile campaign control center. BUND Bremen and BUND youth Bremen are supporting the campaign. The local community is also very supportive.
The first accomplishment for this campaign was the removal of an illegally installed acoustic device. The installation, used to keep the gulls away from anchoring boats, was not approved by the authorities and therefore removed.
While on patrol, our volunteers make good use of their time by cleaning up the area and informing passing locals to keep their dogs on the leash during the nesting season.
Sea Shepherd Germany volunteers and local supporters will stand their ground until the Common Gulls’ offspring is ready to leave the nesting grounds.