Hazing - Boats

Summary Information
Type of technique Health & Management / Disease Investigation & Control / Environmental and Population Management / Techniques:
Synonyms and Keywords Motorboats, powerboats
  • Use of motorboats to harass birds and flush them / keep them away from an area. (D10)
  • Boats powered by outboard motors are most effective (D135.3.w3, D160.App3.w11), particularly small noisy aluminium boats with a shallow draft. (D135.3.w3)
Appropriate Use (?)
  • May be used to keep birds from e.g. cultured mussel beds, also to keep from e.g. oil-polluted areas. (D10)
  • Appears effective against a wide range of bird species. (D10, D160.App3.w11)
  • Can be used to herd flightless (unfledged or moulting) waterfowl. (D135.3.w3, D160.App3.w11)
  • May be used offshore. (D10, D160.App3.w11)
  • May be effective in flushing birds at distances of up to 1 km. (D10)
  • Relatively large areas may be covered by one motorboat. (D10, D160.App3.w11)
  • Use can be implemented rapidly in oil spill situations, while the oil is still offshore. (D160.App3.w11)
  • Limited manpower required. (D10, D160.App3.w11)
  • Boats may also be used as platforms for using shell crackers, and at night for propane cannon and bright lights. (D135.3.w3)
  • Larger flocks of birds may be more sensitive to motor boat approach than small flocks. (D160.App3.w11)
Complications/ Limitations / Risk
  • Only useful on water. (D10)
  • Birds may be difficult to locate, particularly in rough seas. (D10, D160.App3.w11)
  • May be hazardous in rough sea conditions, at night, or if there is ice. (D10, D160.App3.w11)
  • Directing the dispersed birds to the required place (unoiled waters in the case of an oil spill) is difficult. (D160.App3.w11)
  • It may be difficult to locate hazards (e.g. oil slicks) at sea and ensure birds are not moved toward the hazard, rather than away from it. (D10)
  • Often ineffective for use on diving birds. (D135.3.w3, D160.App3.w11)
    • If used on diving birds, is slow and labour intensive, and may still be ineffective. (D135.3.w3, D160.App3.w11)
Equipment / Chemicals required and Suppliers
  • Appropriate motorboat (s) with outboard motors, fuel and operators. (D10, D135.3.w3, D160.App3.w11)
Expertise level / Ease of Use
  • Requires experienced boat operator. (D10)
Cost/ Availability
  • Cost of appropriate motorboat (s), fuel and operators. (D10)
  • May not be rapidly available when needed. (D10)
Legal and Ethical Considerations
  • Risk of accidentally flushing birds towards rather than away from a hazard such as an oil slick at sea. (D10)
Author Dr Debra Bourne MA VetMB PhD MRCVS (V.w5)
References D10, D135.3.w3, D160.App3.w11

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