Developing a multi-year Seabird Strategy
The Ecologically Related Species Working Group commenced consideration of a multi-year seabird strategy at its twelfth meeting (ERSWG12). ERSWG12 decided that the strategy should identify, among other things, research, monitoring needs, actions for reducing uncertainty and associated risks, and the recommendations from the Report of the Effectiveness of Seabird Mitigation Measures Technical Group (CCSBT-ERS/1503/Rep1) (the SMMTG Report), as modified by ERSWG11 (CCSBT-ESC/1509/Rep2, Att. 4). The Extended Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna has since adopted a Resolution to align CCSBT’s Ecologically Related Species measures with those of other tuna RFMOs (CCSBT25: Noumea, New Caledonia, 15–18 October 2018). This binding Ecologically Related Species (ERS) measure requires CCSBT Members to implement the ERS measures of other relevant Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs) as part of the CCSBT’s determination to mitigate incidental harm to ERS caused by fishing for southern bluefin tuna (SBT). CCSBT Members recognise and are concerned that some seabird species, notably some albatross and petrel species, are threatened with global extinction. Advice provided by the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP) to ERSWG13 (CCSBTERS/1905/22 at ) reinforced the conservation crisis highlighted by ACAP at its recent Advisory Committee and Working Group meetings. ACAP provided an update about the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Of the 18 species of albatross that overlap with the SBT fisheries, the IUCN lists one as critically endangered (CR), seven as Endangered (EN), five as Vulnerable (VU), four as Near Threatened (NT), and one as Least Concern (LC). Of the seven ACAP-listed species of petrels that overlap with SBT fisheries, the IUCN lists one as EN, three as VU, one as NT, and two as LC. Overall, 44% of the albatross and petrel species that overlap with the SBT are declining, 24% are stable, 20% are increasing and for 12% the trend is unknown.