The implementation of ACAP Best Practice Advice to mitigate seabird bycatch in fisheries: Issues and Options
In recognition of the serious nature of fisheries-induced seabird mortality and its impact on populations of albatrosses and petrels, ACAP established a Seabird Bycatch Working Group (SBWG) to advise on actions that will assist in the mitigation and reduction of seabird interactions with fisheries. The SBWG regularly examines the range of measures available that can minimise bycatch and has developed “best practice advice” (BPA), a suite of tools and methods for fisheries, which is reviewed at each Working Group meeting. This BPA has been widely promoted by ACAP Parties, the Agreement’s secretariat, and nongovernment organisations both within jurisdictions and at the tuna Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (tRFMOs). We employed a qualitative and semi-quantitative multiple method survey to identify and understand key gaps in the implementation of ACAP BPA in the commercial longline and trawl fisheries of ACAP Parties. Our research identified a number of key gaps in the uptake of the BPA guidelines in these fisheries. Data obtained in the study provided advice and recommendations on addressing impediments to uptake that could lead to improved management of seabird bycatch in commercial fisheries.