Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

Death of 74 White-chinned Petrels in the South Atlantic leads to a hefty fine

Back in April, ACAP Latest News reported on a contravention of the Conservation Measures of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) that reportedly led to the deaths of 74 ACAP-listed listed White-chinned Petrels Procellaria aequinoctialis in the South Atlantic by a fishing vessel targeting Patagonian Toothfish Dissostichus eleginoides (click here).

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A hooked White-chinned Petrel, photograph by Nicolas Gasco

News is now in that the incident has led to the issuing of a substantial fine as quoted below:

“An administrative penalty has been issued to the charters of a licensed longline vessel as a result an infringement of one of the CCAMLR Conservation Measures.  The penalty notice was issued on April 30th and related to an event in [a] toothfish fishery on April 13th, 2014.

The penalty was a result of the vessel completing the setting of a line after nautical twilight (dawn), which is a contravention of the night setting requirement designed to reduce seabird mortality in longline fisheries. The late setting of the line is likely to have contributed to the incidental mortality of 74 white-chinned petrels which were caught during setting of the line. This incidental mortality event is the largest in the fishery for over 10 years.  The vessel operators subsequently admitted the offence and were issued with a penalty of  30,000.” (click here).

Mitigation measures in the fishery have now been adjusted so that vessels complete the setting of lines at least three hours before sunrise until 15 May to reduce the risk of incidental capture of any more White-chinned Petrels.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 22 July 2014

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