The development of the seabird component of the ICCAT ecosystem report card
This paper serves as a contribution to the development of the ICCAT Ecosystem Report. We highlight that bycatch is considered one of the main impacts of ICCAT fisheries on seabirds and emphasise the importance of monitoring seabird bycatch associated with ICCAT fisheries. We propose two high-level indicators (bycatch rates per unit effort, and an estimate of the total number of seabirds killed), together with a third indicator (use and effectiveness of bycatch mitigation measures) to facilitate the interpretation of trends in the other two, and to help inform an adaptive approach to the management of seabird bycatch in ICCAT fisheries. We outline the uncertainties and limitations associated with the suite of indicators, most of which relate to the availability of appropriately collected and reported data. Improvements in the quantity and quality of data will lead to enhancements in the indicator system and its usefulness for informing management decisions. Even with imperfect data, the indicators and ecosystem report card will help highlight data gaps and priorities for further monitoring, and thus strengthen the report card tool over time.