Chapter 10 - Legal and cooperative mechanisms for conserving marine birds

Kim MA, Harrison CS, Tasker ML (2023) Chapter 10 - Legal and cooperative mechanisms for conserving marine birds. In: Young L, VanderWerf E (eds) Conservation of Marine Birds. Academic Press, pp 297–319

The conservation of marine birds cannot be accomplished without national laws, international and regional treaties, and multilateral agreements that protect components of the environment, such as lands that provide breeding habitats for seabirds and marine areas that provide foraging habitat, or that control human behavior to address pollution, exploitation, or fishing in a manner to prevent or reduce harm to seabirds. We provide an overview of these legal and cooperative mechanisms that underpin much conservation activity. We then describe protections on land, including a survey of parks, refuges, and sanctuaries on all continents, as well as the means by which countries protect species directly. The at-sea protections described include several marine protected areas that have seabirds considered in their design and the management of fisheries by regional fisheries management organizations, particularly conservation and management measures for mitigating seabird bycatch. Laws and treaties preventing oil and plastic pollution in the marine environment are also reviewed as they serve to prevent harm to seabirds. The conglomeration of these legal and cooperative mechanisms reflects the value and care of communities across the globe in protecting seabirds and their environment. While much progress has been made on conserving seabirds, additional efforts, such as improving the effectiveness of, and compliance with, existing laws and conservation measures, are essential for the recovery of seabird populations and preventing the loss of seabird species.