Countries which undertake longline fishing are encouraged to produce a National Plan of Action for Reducing Incidental Catch of Seabirds in Longline Fisheries (NPOA-Seabirds), following guidelines set out by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
Japan produced its first NPOA-Seabirds in 2001. The Japanese Fisheries Agency has now published (March 2009) a revised version, available as a PDF (click here). In it, Japan sets out mitigation measures required on Japanese longliners in different fishing regions, including the Western and Central Pacific (north of 23ºN and south of 30ºS), the Indian Ocean (south of 30ºS) and in the Atlantic south of 20ºC. In Japan’s coastal and offshore waters mitigation measures are required in the vicinity of Torishima Island during October to May, where the bulk of the Short-tailed Albatrosses Phoebastria albatrus population breeds.
In 2008 South Africa produced its National Plan (click here for an earlier new item). The full text of the plan, which also covers trawl fisheries (despite its title), is now available on-line on the FAO web site (click here for the PDF).
Other nations that have produced NPOA-Seabirds and had them listed (with PDFs) on the FAO web site at http://www.fao.org/fishery/ipoa-seabirds/npoa/en include Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, Uruguay and the USA. In addition, Australia’s assessment report for its NPOA-Seabirds is also available, as are reports of several FAO meetings held to develop and discuss National Plans.
For a news item on South American NPOA-Seabirds go to http://www.acap.aq/en/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=55&Itemid=5.
John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 29 May 2009