The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission amends its seabird bycatch mitigation resolution to protect juvenile albatrosses

Following recommendations emanating from its subsidiary bodies (click here) the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) has acted to help protect mainly juvenile albatrosses and petrels in the southern Indian Ocean.


Meeting in Busan, Korea over 1-5 March this year, the Fourteenth Meeting of the Commission considered a proposal to amend Resolution 08/03 on Reducing the Incidental Catch of Seabirds in Longline Fisheries.


The amended text proposed by France on behalf of its Overseas Territories (which include island groups in the southern Indian Ocean that support ACAP-breeding species) was adopted as new Resolution 10/06.  The substantive change shifts the northern limit of the region of the southern Indian Ocean south of which seabird mitigation measures are required to be implemented northwards from 30°S to 25°S, so as to include more of the at-sea distributions of mainly juvenile albatrosses and petrels.


The amendment is to come into force from 1 November 2010, but Contracting and Cooperating non-Contracting Parties (CPCs) to the IOTC are encouraged to ensure their longline fishing vessels adopt mitigation measures from south of 25°S as soon as possible.  The actual mitigation measures remain unchanged, requiring the use of at least two measures, one which must be night setting, use of bird-scaring lines or weighted branch lines.


The French proposal also noted the economic advantages of seabird mitigation measures, by significantly increasing the catches of targeted fisheries.


With thanks to Alejandro Anganuzzi, Executive Secretary, Indian Ocean Tuna Commission


John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 17 March 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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