Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

Convention on Migratory Species adopts resolutions on bycatch in gill nets and on marine debris

The Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) held its 10th Meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP10) in Bergen, Norway over 20-25 November this year.

Two resolutions on marine debris and on gill net bycatch adopted at the meeting have the potential to improve the conservation status of ACAP-listed albatrosses and petrels, as well as of threatened species of shearwaters.  Following deliberations and revision by the Marine Issues Working Group, the marine debris (UNEP/CMS/Resolution 10.4/Rev2 Marine Debrisand the gill net (UNEP/CMS/Res.10.14/Rev.2 Bycatch of CMS-listed Species in Gillnet Fisheries) resolutions were adopted on the last day of the Conference of Parties.

Not just a pile of plastic: this is actually a corpse of a Laysan Albatross chick killed by ingesting marine debris
Photograph by Chris Jordan

UNEP/CMS/Resolution 10.10/Rev.2 Guidance on Global Flyway Conservation and Options for Policy Arrangements adopted at the meeting also has specific relevance to the Albatross and Petrel Agreement as shown by the following extract:

"17.6.1  Support the enhanced implementation of the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels and the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement, and the development, strengthening and implementation of bycatch mitigation and monitoring measures by relevant Regional Fisheries Management Organizations.

17.6.2  Ask the Secretariat to organize an initial workshop (resources permitting) to scope out options and to define the conservation needs of seabirds not covered under the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses.

17.6.3  Promote the management of seabirds in the Antarctic region, including with the Antarctic Treaty and other bodies."

Several other resolutions adopted at the CMS meeting have relevance to the conservation of ACAP-listed albatrosses and petrels or to threatened shearwaters.  These include:

For earlier news stories on the CMS meeting visit:

The Albatross and Petrel Agreement was represented at the CMS COP10 by its Technical Advisor and Chair of its Advisory Committee's Seabird Bycatch Working Group, Barry Baker of Australia.  Barry also serves as the CMS-appointed Scientific Councillor for Bycatch and at COP10 chaired the Marine Issues Working Group.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 29 November 2011