Data collection guidelines for observer programmes to improve knowledge of fishery impacts on ACAP-listed species
The incidental catch of seabirds associated with fishing operations, especially in longline and trawl fisheries, is considered one of the greatest threats to ACAP-listed species. The management of seabird-fisheries interactions, particularly the reduction of incidental mortality of seabirds in longline and trawl fisheries, is a critical component of ACAP. The ACAP Action Plan calls on the Advisory Committee to review and update on a regular basis data on the mortality of albatrosses and petrels in commercial and other relevant fisheries. Such an assessment relies on the effective collection, analyses and reporting of seabird bycatch and associated data by Parties, as well as by Regional Fishery Management Organisations (RFMOs) and other non-Party sources. It is well recognised that the implementation of observer programmes that include the collection and management of seabird bycatch and associated data, are the most effective means of monitoring fisheries performance with respect to seabird bycatch and use of mitigation measures. This document updates a previous paper (SBWG4 Doc 26) to provide draft ACAP Conservation Guidelines on data collection for observer programmes to improve knowledge of fishery impacts on ACAP-listed species. It is proposed these guidelines, once adopted, be promoted to Parties, RFMOs and others alongside other ACAP advice.