Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

Delegates to ACAP's 10th Advisory Committee (AC10) meeting in Wellington, New Zealand attended a awards ceremony of the Southern Seabirds Solutions Trust (SSST) in the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa on Monday evening. The biennial awards recognise commercial and recreational fishers who are committed to looking after New Zealand seabirds. The winners were announced by Conservation Minister Maggie Barry at Te Papa following her address who mentioned New Zealand’s intentions to rid sub-Antarctic Auckland Island of its feral pigs and cats by 2025 (click here).

Altair Fishing Ltd won the 2017 Seabird Smart Award for measures to protect seabirds across its fleet of tuna vessels, including using bird-scaring lines, setting fishing lines at night, adding weights to make bait sink quickly and dying bait to make it less visible to birds.

The Special Innovation Award was given to Gavin Heineman for re-engineering his 13.7-m vessel Echo to include an aluminium chute used to discard the guts and heads of fish, thus making them less accessible to seabirds.

Spectacular entrance to the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa's Te Marae (meeting house)

New Zealand's Conservation Minister Maggie Barry (right) with some of the award winners

Read more here.

While attending the evening function John Cooper (ACAP Information Officer) and Mark Tasker (UK) were pleased to meet up again with Bill Mansfield, SSST Chairperson, who had chaired ACAP’s Second Meeting of the Parties (MoP2) held in Christchurch, New Zealand in November 2006.

Last men standing: John Cooper (ACAP Information Officer), Bill Mansfield (Southern Seabird Solutions Trust Chairperson) and Mark Tasker (Past ACAP Advisory Committee Chair). All three were at the Second Meeting of the ACAP Parties (MoP2) held in Christchurch, New Zealand in November 2006 with Bill in the Chair

Where's my tie? Hannah Nevins (American Bird Conservancy),  Chris Robertson and John Cooper

Also good to renew a long-time friendship with New Zealand's legendary albatross researcher, Chris Robertson.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 13 September 2017