New FAO Technical Guidelines intended to save seabirds: Best practices to reduce incidental catch of seabirds in capture fisheries

In 2009 the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) released new technical guidelines for responsible fisheries with regard to seabird conservation. These guidelines are known as Best Practices to Reduce Incidental Catch of Seabirds in Capture Fisheries.

The guidelines have been produced to support implementation of the International Plan of Action for Reducing Incidental Catch of Seabirds in Longline Fisheries (IPOA-Seabirds). They encompass interactions of seabirds with longline, trawl and gillnet fisheries, whether they are industrial or artisanal fisheries. These guidelines are addressed to decision-makers and policy-makers associated with conserving seabirds and with minimizing their interaction with fishing gears. In this sense, the guidelines have been prepared to (1) assist countries in preparing and implementing a more effective NPOA-Seabirds, (2) provide RFMOs with guidance on implementing an IPOA-Seabirds within a regional framework, and (3) address incidental mortality of seabirds from relevant fishing gear.

The guidelines are available at:

Figure. Dr. Ben Sullivan showing the FAO document presented at the Seabird Bycatch Working Group prior to the AC5 in Mar del Plata, Argentina. Photo: Juan Pablo Seco Pon.

Juan Pablo Seco Pon, South American News Correspondent, 09 April 2010

The Agreement on the
Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

ACAP is a multilateral agreement which seeks to conserve listed albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters by coordinating international activity to mitigate known threats to their populations.

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