World Albatross Day 2024 highlights Marine Protected Areas

WALD 2024 Social Media Post 1.0This year's World Albatross Day poster by Geoff Tyler highlights how Marine Protected Areas can help conservation efforts in safeguarding albatrosses

In celebration of World Albatross Day today, the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP), has chosen to focus on the critical connection between albatrosses and the ocean with the theme, “Marine Protected Areas: Safeguarding our Oceans”.

Concerningly, most species of albatrosses are in decline. Since ACAP entered into force, the annual count of breeding Antipodean Albatrosses has halved. Sadly, this example is not atypical; the populations of over 40% of the 31 species listed by ACAP have decreased over the last 20 years. This year’s theme highlights how Marine Protected Areas can help improve the conservation status of these incredible birds.

ACAP’s Advisory Committee Chair, Dr Mike Double says these statistics are driven by a myriad of impacts such as invasive species, habitat destruction, climate change and disease but fisheries bycatch remains the greatest threat to most ACAP-listed species. And this is where Marine Protected Areas offer hope. 

“Marine Protected Areas may help in turning this grim reality around as they provide levels of protection for the species and ecosystems located within their defined geographical boundaries,” he said.

Currently designated by governments within their own territorial waters, the establishment of MPAs can assist in improving the conservation status of albatrosses through the protection of the immediate surrounds of their breeding localities and key regions across their migratory ranges, and through the management of activities permitted within them, such as fishing. 

This year’s celebration is particularly significant in light of the landmark signature by 84 nations of the Agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ treaty). 

Once ratified, this historic agreement will enable the creation of MPAs in waters commonly known as the High Seas, filling a critical gap in international law and providing a framework for the conservation and sustainable use of marine life in areas beyond national jurisdictions —an area covering almost two-thirds of the ocean.  

ACAP’s Executive Secretary, Dr Christine Bogle says the time to act has come.

“In the face of a conservation crisis, these birds can’t wait, action is required now, or it will be too late,” she said. “The establishment of Marine Protected Areas in areas beyond national jurisdiction is one more tool that can be used to safeguard these magnificent birds, who so urgently need the world to act.”

World Albatross Day, held annually on 19 June, is a global event promoting conservation efforts for the world’s most iconic seabird - albatrosses. This special day raises awareness about the threats these incredible birds face and encourages conservation actions worldwide. 

For more information on World Albatross Day please visit

19 June 2024

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.

About ACAP

ACAP Secretariat

119 Macquarie St
Hobart TAS 7000

Tel: +61 3 6165 6674