Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

How well are New Zealand seabirds, including ACAP-listed albatrosses, protected from fishing-related mortality?

Nicola Wheen (Faculty of Law, University of Otago, New Zealand), writing in the Journal of Environmental Law, has looked at how well New Zealand seabirds, including ACAP-listed albatrosses, are protected from fishing-related mortality.

The paper's abstract follows

"Regulatory control of fishing in response to fishing-related mortality of endemic marine animals in New Zealand waters has been weak and slow.  The handful of populations and species that have been ‘protected' from fishing activities are still probably declining or are unlikely to recover without further protection.  The government itself recognises the inadequacies of its measures for protecting seabirds.  Some species directly affected by fishing receive no protection at all from this threat.  I argue that a legal framework that is almost wholly discretionary, allows fisheries interests to dominate decision-making and obscures and nullifies the intended effect of the precautionary approach is to blame.  It follows that when in 2009 Members of the New Zealand Parliament rejected off-hand simple legislative changes capable of addressing these problems, they belied their own expressions of concern for marine animals threatened by fishing."

Buller's Albatrosses, endemic to New Zealand, forage behind a fishing boat


Wheen, N.R.   2012.  How the law lets down the ‘down-under dolphin'-fishing-related mortality of marine animals and the law in New Zealand.  Journal of Environmental Law.  doi: 10.1093/jel/eqs017.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 4 October 2012

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