Updated ACAP Advice on Reducing the Bycatch of Albatrosses and Petrels in WCPFC Fisheries
The incidental mortality (bycatch) of seabirds in longline and trawl fisheries continues to be a serious global concern, especially for threatened albatrosses and petrels, resulting in a Conservation Crisis being declared by the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP) in 2019. There are currently 31 species listed in Annex 1 of the Agreement. Of the 22 species of albatrosses, 17 breed and/or forage in the WCPFC Convention Area, as do six of the nine listed petrel species. The 13th meeting of ACAP’s Advisory Committee (AC13), and associated Working Groups, was held in May 2023. AC13 reviewed Best Practice bycatch mitigation advice for pelagic longline fisheries. This paper provides an update on this review and on other resources and information relevant to seabird bycatch in WCPFC fisheries. We highlight information that may be useful for WCPFC to consider in the current review of CMM2018-03, the Conservation and Management Measure to Mitigate the Impact of Fishing for Highly Migratory Fish Stocks on Seabirds.