ACAP seabird bycatch performance indicators and reporting framework

Debski I, Misiak W, Walker N, Wolfaardt A (2017) ACAP seabird bycatch performance indicators and reporting framework. In: ACAP - Eighth Meeting of the Seabird Bycatch Working Group. SBWG8-Doc-05, Wellington, New Zealand

The ACAP Action Plan calls on the Advisory Committee to routinely review and update data on the mortality of albatrosses and petrels in commercial and other relevant fisheries. It has been agreed previously that the Status-Pressure-Response framework will be used by ACAP to measure performance, and that the main Pressure Indicator for bycatch P1 should be: total number of birds killed per year of ACAP species (by species where possible), and their bycatch rate, across each of the fisheries of member Parties. Here we report on intersessional progress on the approach agreed at SBWG7. A reporting template was developed and trialled alongside the national reporting ahead of AC10. Data was received through this new reporting format from only one Party (New Zealand). We used this bycatch data to illustrate a number of different ways in which we can report against ACAP indicators. Based on this trial reporting we make a number of suggestions to further refine the reporting template so that it can be suitable for implementation as part of future standard national reporting requirements. In particular, developing a decision tree approach to guide reporting and allow for the recording of fisheries where no or little data is available is important to ensure gaps in our knowledge of bycatch can be identified. We also recognise synergies with other processes, in particular the seabird bycatch assessment component of the Common Oceans (ABNJ) Tuna Project. We identified possible metrics that could be used to report against ACAP’s bycatch indicators, and conclude that metrics at a scale of national fisheries by fishing method may be most appropriate as a high level indicator. Such indicators would act to prompt more detailed investigation of fisheries where bycatch concerns are identified, recognising the approach to detailed investigation will vary on a case by case basis a prescriptive approach may not be suitable.