Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

Oikonos reports on satellite tracking Black-footed Albatrosses in the North Pacific

David Hyrenbach (Oikonos - Ecosystem Knowledge and Department of Natural Sciences, Hawai'i Pacific University) and colleagues have finalized a report to the USA's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on tracking studies undertaken on Black-footed Albatrosses Phoebastria nigripes in the North Pacific.

The report's summary follows:

"Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge, working with state and federal resource managers and university partners tracked the oceanic distribution and behavior of post-breeding and chick provisioning Black-footed Albatross (BFAL, Phoebastria nigripes) tagged at-sea within the Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary (CBNMS) and on the Kure Atoll colony within the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM) over a four year period (2004, 2005, 2007, 2008).  The overarching goal of this project was to summarize the existing information to inform the management of this far-ranging protected species, in the context of static oceanic habitats (bathymetric domains and features), existing jurisdictions (U.S. National Marine Sanctuaries (NMS) and Marine Monuments), and international exclusive economic zones (E.E.Z.)."

From the report:

"One of the most striking research gaps identified by this research is the need to collaborate with U.S. and international fisheries management agencies to investigate the extent of fishing operations and albatross bycatch within the high-use areas used by breeding and post-breeding BFAL.  The U.S. Hawaii longline fishery has shifted efforts to the north of albatross breeding colonies and the increased bycatch rates warrants close monitoring.  In addition, other potential fisheries of interest include high-seas pole and line fishing for tuna (Emperor Seamount Chain), and coastal gillnet fisheries targeting salmon (Coastal Japan and Russian waters)."

Black-footed Albatross at sea.  Photograph by Aleks Terauds


David Hyrenbach, Michelle Hester, M. Adams, J., Michael, P. Vanderlip, C., Keiper, C. & Carver, M. 2012.  Synthesis of Habitat Use by Black-footed Albatross tracked from Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary (2004 - 2008) and Kure Atoll Seabird Sanctuary (2008).  Revised Final Report to NOAA.  20 pp.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 20 September 2012