The Albatross and Petrel Agreement aims to improve the protection of its 31 listed species both on land and at sea. The development and proclamation of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) or their equivalents surrounding localities where ACAP-listed species breed are thus important steps in improving the conservation status of threatened albatrosses and petrels.
Here follows brief details of relevant MPAs, including no-fishing zones, proclaimed or proposed by both ACAP Parties and non-Parties. Click on the links to learn more. Send details of missing MPAs in existence or planned (preferably with links to web sites) to
Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument
Text to come.
Heard Island and McDonald Islands Marine Reserve
The current management plan for the Commonwealth of Australia’s Heard Island and McDonald Islands Marine Reserve is:
Commonwealth of Australia 2014. Heard Island and McDonald Islands Marine Reserve Management Plan 2014–2024. Canberra: Department of the Environment. 99 pp.
Heard Island and McDonald Islands, including their territorial waters (0–12 nautical miles) are a World Heritage Natural Site proclaimed in 1997. The marine reserve covers c. 71 000 km2, including territorial waters and areas generally north and north-east of the Islands.
Macquarie Island Nature Reserve and World Heritage Area
The current management plan for the State of Tasmania’s Macquarie Island Nature Reserve and World Heritage Area is:
Parks and Wildlife Service 2006. Macquarie Island Nature Reserve and World Heritage Area Management Plan. Hobart: Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Tourism, Arts and the Environment. 207 pp.
Macquarie Island, including its territorial waters (0–12 nm) is a World Heritage Natural Site proclaimed in 1997. The management plan applies to the Macquarie Island Nature Reserve, which includes Macquarie Island, Bishop and Clerk Islets, Judge and Clerk Islets and that part of the World Heritage Site that is within it (0–3 nm from the Island and Islets).
Macquarie Island Marine Park
The current management arrangements for the Commonwealth of Australia’s Macquarie Island Marine Park are set out in the following document:
Director of National Parks 2013. South-east Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network Management Plan 2013-23. Canberra: Director of National Parks. 109 pp.
This marine park was originally proclaimed in October 1999 and covers c.162 000 km2, generally to the south-east of Macquarie Island. The marine park is adjacent to the Macquarie Island Nature Reserve, which is managed by the State of Tasmania.
Text to come
Galapagos Marine Reserve
A 15-40-nautical mile marine reserve (c. 140 000 km²) surrounds the archipelago, including Isla Española, breeding locality of the Waved Albatross Phoebastria irrorata. The marine reserve, created in 1998, forms part of a World Heritage Natural Site.
In September 2008 France designated the Réserve naturelle nationale des Terres australes francaises as a a very large Ramsar Wetland Site of International Importance (2 270 000 ha) that includes marine components ("rocky shores, estuaries and fjords") at its sub-Antarctic islands in the southern Indian Ocean (Amsterdam, Saint Paul, Crozet and Kerguelen).
Ogasawara National Park
The Ogasawara National Park, which includes a marine component, was proclaimed in 1972 with an area of 4630 km². Both Black-footed P. immutabilis and Laysan P. nigripes Albatrosses breed within the island group. The Ogasawara Islands (Mukojima, Chichijima and Hahajima island groups plus Kita-iwoto and Minami-iwoto of the Kazan group and the isolated Nishinoshima) were registered as a World Heritage Natural Site in June 2011. The site totals 7939 ha, comprising a terrestrial area of 6358 ha and a marine area of 1581 ha.
Reserva de la Biosfera Archipiélago de Revillagigedo
The Reserva de la Biosfera Archipiélago de Revillagigedo was designated a Ramsar Wetland Site of International Importance in 2004 with an area of 636 685 ha. Two islands within the reserve, Clarión and San Benedicto, support small populations of Black-footed and Laysan Albatrosses. The reserve, with the same area, is also a World Heritage Natural Site inscribed in 2016 (click here). Both sites include a marine protected area extending 12 nautical miles around each of the four islands that make up the archipelago.
Antipodes Island/Moutere Mahue Marine Reserve
Auckland Islands - Motu Maha Marine Reserve
The Auckland Islands - Motu Maha Marine Reserve, established in 2014, covers an area of about 484 000 ha out to 12 nautical miles (territorial waters) around the sub-Antarctic Auckland Islands group, including Adams, Enderby and Disappointment Islands
Bounty/Moutere Hauriri Islands Marine Reserve
Campbell Island/Motu Ihupuku Marine Reserve
Punakaiki Marine Reserve
The inshore Punakaiki Marine Reserve extending 700-800 m out to sea covers much of the coastline of the Paparoa National Park, and is close to the sole breeding site of the Vulnerable Westland Petrel Procellaria westlandica.
Antipodes, Auckland, Bounty, Campbell and Snares Island Groups
The Antipodes, Auckland, Bounty, Campbell and Snares island groups, with their 0-12-nautical mile territorial waters, together form the New Zealand sub-Antarctic Islands World Heritage Site, proclaimed in 1998.
Prince Edward Islands Special Nature Reserve
Marion and Prince Edward are together the Prince Edward Islands Ramsar Wetland Site of International Importance with marine boundaries extending 500 m seawards to encompass the inshore kelp beds, designated on 22 May 2007.
Prince Edward Islands Marine Protected Area
South Africa declared a large (180 000-km² ) Marine Protected Area around the Prince Edward Islands in April 2013 that includes all of the group's territorial waters (0-12 nautical miles) as a Sanctuary Area where fishing will not be allowed and parts of the Economic Exclusive Zone out to 200 nm as either Restricted (research fishing) or Controlled (commercial fishing) Areas.
Text to come
Gough Island Nature Reserve & Inaccessible Island Nature Reserve
Gough and Inaccessible Islands, part of the United Kingdom Overseas Territory of St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, are both proclaimed nature reserves, were designated as separate Ramsar Wetland Sites of International Importance (Gough & Inaccessible) on 20 November 2008 and together form the Gough and Inaccessible Islands World Heritage Site, proclaimed for Gough in 1995 and extended to include Inaccessible in 2004. In each case, the proclaimed/designated boundaries extend out to 12 nautical miles (territorial waters), making them de facto Marine Protected Areas.
RSPB & Tristan Conservation Department 2010. Gough and Inaccessible Islands World Heritage Site Management Plan April 2010 – March 2015. [Sandy: Royal Society for the Protection of Birds & Edinburgh, Tristan da Cunha: Tristan da Cunha Government]. 32 pp. [+ appendices].
Tristan da Cunha Marine Protection Zone
A 687 247-km² Marine Protection Zone around the Tristan – Gough Islands in the South Atlantic was announced in November 2020 with no fishing or other extractive activities permitted within 91% of its total area (which includes sea mounts known to be seabird "hotspots", although parts of three of them will remain open for fishing).. Enabling legislation is apparently set to follow in 2021 (click here).
United States of America
Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument
Proclaimed in January 2009, the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument includes Wake Atoll (where both Black-footed and Layan Albatrosses have bred in the recent past in small numbers) and its surrounding seas out to 50 nautical miles.
Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument
Proclaimed in June 2006 as the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument and renamed as the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in 2007, the monument includes eight atolls/islands which support large breeding populations of Black-footed and Laysan Albatrosses, and a couple of pairs of Short-tailed Albatrosses. These are Kure, Midway, Pearl and Hermes Reef, Lisianski, Laysan, French Frigate Shoals, Necker and Nihoa. Seas out to 50 nm around each island are included within the monument.
Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)*
Sea Lion Island Ramsar Site
1000-ha Sea Lion Island (Isla de los Leones Marinos) was designated as a Ramsar Wetland Site of International Importance in 2001. Southern Giant Petrels Macronectes giganteus breed in small numbers (25 pairs). The wetland site includes a marine component ("surrounding waters"). given as 10% of the total area.
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (Islas Georgia del Sur y Islas Sandwich del Sur)
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Marine Protected Area
The South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands Marine Protected Area, proclaimed in 2012, covers an area of 1.24 million km². No-take zones where all fishing activity is prohibited cover 283 000 km². A management plan is in place.
Government of the South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands 2013. South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Marine Protected Area Management Plan. [Stanley: Government of the South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands]. 63 pp.
*A dispute exists between the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland concerning sovereignty over the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (Islas Georgias del Sur y Islas Sandwich del Sur) and the surrounding maritime areas.
Last updated 16 December 2020