Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

Outcomes from the 10th Meeting of ACAP’s Advisory Committee held in New Zealand in September

The Tenth Meeting of ACAP’s Advisory Committee (AC10) was held in Wellington, New Zealand, from 11 to 15 September 2017. The report of the meeting is now available online here. Meeting documents and information papers considered at the meeting are also online.

Some of the highlights of the meeting’s outcomes follow.

Chatham Albatross, a New Zealand endemic, breeding at The Snares, photograph by Matt Charteris

The Advisory Committee heard reports from the Convenors of meetings of its Population and Conservation (PaCSWG4) and Seabird Bycatch (SBWG8) Working Groups. Both reports are available online as meeting documents of AC10 (AC10 Doc 11 and AC10 Doc 13 Rev 1).

The population of the globally Vulnerable and national critical Antipodean Albatross Diomedea antipodensis of the nominate subspecies that breeds on New Zealand’s Antipodes Island was added to the list of ACAP priority populations for conservation management by the Advisory Committee, following a recommendation from the PaCSWG.

A breeding pair of Antipodean Albatrosses on Antipodes Island, photograph by Erica Sommer

The Advisory Committee took note of intentions by the United Kingdom to eradicate introduced House Mice Mus musculus on Gough Island in the South Atlantic in 2019 and by South Africa to eradicate mice on Marion Island in the southern Indian Ocean in 2020. At both islands mice attack and kill albatrosses and petrels as has been regularly reported in ACAP Latest News.

Following implementation issues with ACAP’s Small Grants Scheme and Secondment Programme that resulted in no grants or secondments being made in the last two years the Committee agreed that in the next call for applications, and until the end of the next triennium in 2021, the Small Grant Scheme and Secondment Programme will only accept applications/nominations from Parties. It was noted that it will be possible to call for applications following AC10 before the end of 2017; however, the final decision on funding outcomes will not be possible until after the 6th Session of the Meeting of the Parties (MoP6), due to be held next year (see below).

The committee appointed two new officials to help manage its Seabird Bycatch Working Group. Igor Debski (New Zealand) was ‘promoted’ to SBWG Co-Convenor (with Anton Wolfaardt of the UK, but domiciled in South Africa) from his previous position as Co-vice Convenor. Juan Pablo Seco Pon (Argentina) was then appointed as Co-vice Convenor with Sebastián Jiménez.

Offers by South Africa to host MoP6 from 7 to 11 May 2018 (AC10 Inf 14), at a location to be confirmed and by Brazil to hold the 11th Meeting of the Advisory Committee (AC11) in Florianópolis, Santa Catarina in 2019 were both warmly welcomed. Both countries have previously held ACAP meetings: Brazil hosted AC2 in 2006 and South Africa hosted AC4 in 2008, as well as holding the third and final ACAP negotiation meeting in Cape Town in 2001.

Lastly, the meeting considered the report of the Workshop on Pterodroma and other small petrels held prior to AC10. A separate ACAP Latest News item will summarize its conclusions.

French and Spanish language versions of the AC10 report will be available on this website soon.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 02 November 2017