Report of the Final Global Seabird Bycatch Assessment Workshop

Birdlife International (2019) Report of the Final Global Seabird Bycatch Assessment Workshop. In: WCPFC Scientific Committee 15th Regular Session. WCPFC-SC15-2019/EB-WP-07, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is the implementing agency of 53 the project “Sustainable Management of Tuna Fisheries and Biodiversity Conservation in the Areas 54 Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ)” (also known as the “Common Oceans ABNJ Tuna Project”), 55 which aims to: (i) support the use of sustainable and efficient fisheries management and fishing 56 practices by the stakeholders of the tuna resources; (ii) reduce illegal, unreported and unregulated 57 [IUU] fishing; and (iii) mitigate adverse impacts of bycatch on biodiversity. BirdLife International, 58 through its local partner, BirdLife South Africa (BLSA), has implemented the seabird bycatch 59 component of the Common Oceans Tuna Project (Output 3.2.1). 60 The seabird bycatch component of the project responds to the recognition within tuna Regional 61 Fisheries Management Organisations (t--‐RFMOs) that reduction of the current impacts of pelagic 62 longline fisheries on albatross and petrel populations requires two actions. One is the 63 implementation of seabird bycatch conservation and management measures across fleets 64 overlapping with albatross distribution. More broadly, enhanced capacity within member states is 65 desirable, to monitor and assess bycatch impacts (IOTC--‐2015--‐WPEB11; ICCAT 2015 SC ECO). In 66 addition, all t--‐RFMOs have made commitments to review the effectiveness of their seabird 67 conservation and management measures (ICCAT Rec 11--‐09, IOTC Res 12/06, IATTC C--‐1102, CCSBT 68 ERS Recommendation 2011 and WCPFC CMM 2012--‐07). Approaches that might be used to support 69 achieving such assessments were elaborated at a workshop hosted by CCSBT in November 2014 70 (CCSBT SMMTG 2014), and recommended undertaking of a collaborative global impact assessment 71 in addition to regular monitoring of seabird bycatch within t--‐RFMOs. 72 The seabird bycatch component of the Common Oceans Project held a series of workshops to 73 facilitate a collaborative assessment of seabird bycatch, and to address the urge to strengthen 74 national scientist capacity to analyse bycatch data. Three preparatory workshops were held in 75 2017/18 to bring together experts, national scientists and institutions working with seabird bycatch 76 data from vessels operating south of 25°S.