© 2020 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. All rights reserved. Fisheries produce large amounts of waste, providing food subsidies for scavengers. Discards influence seabird movement, demography and community structure, but little is known about seabird-fishery interactions where discarding is banned. Here, we investigate how northern gannets Morus bassanus respond to fishing vessels in Iceland, where discarding commercial species is illegal, but birds may still access bait, offal, or catch. We GPS-tracked 82 foraging trips for 36 breeding gannets from two colonies (Skrúður and Hellisey) and obtained time-matched vessel locations. We classified bird behaviour using Hidden Markov Models and then tested the effect of vessel distance on behavioural state-switching using multi-state Markov models. Fishing vessels were present during 94% of foraging trips. However, the likelihood of gannets switching from travelling to foraging was unaffected by vessel proximity, regardless of gear type or activity. When encountering vessels, gannets rarely foraged but instead were more likely to continue travelling. When controlling for population size, gannet foraging trips at both colonies were shorter than expected, suggesting favourable conditions. The lack of behavioural responses to vessels among Icelandic gannets is likely driven by the discard ban and availability of pelagic fishes. Our findings have implications for understanding bycatch risk and the consequences of discard reforms.