Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

The World Seabird Union forms a committee for seabirds and plastic pollution

In 2018 the World Seabird Union approved the formation of a Specialist Committee on Seabirds and Plastic Pollution (SCSPP) under the Chair of Stephanie Avery-Gomm.

The Specialist Committee was established to foster a community of practice for researchers studying plastic pollution and seabirds. This is not exclusive to plastic ingestion, although that is the primary focus of the work currently underway.

The SCSPP’s aims are to:

Publish peer-reviewed papers that standardize and guide research aiming to understand the impacts of plastic pollution on seabirds; and

Provide a central base for knowledge exchange.

Plastic spoon and latex balloon and plastic fragments removed from a Southern Giant Petrel Macronectes giganteus (click here)

The following information comes from the (UK) Seabird Group Newsletter No. 141 of June 2019.

“Plastic pollution is an emerging issue of concern, which is attracting increasing attention.  Although the impacts of plastic pollution may, for many species, pale in comparison to threats associated with bycatch, invasive species, and climate change, an increasing number of species are found to ingest plastic, with yet unknown consequences.  The members of this committee are a group of international seabird researchers collaborating on research regarding seabird plastic ingestion. We represent world experts on the issue across North America, Europe and Australia/New Zealand” [but not from Africa or Asia].

Current SCSPP members are Stephanie Avery-Gomm, Alex Bond, Stephanie Borrelle, Elisa Bravo Rebolledo, Sjúrður Hammer, Mark Mallory, Susanne Kühn, Jennifer Lavers, Jennifer Provencher and Jan van Franeker.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 15 July 2019