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National Plans of Action (NPOAs) for reducing seabird bycatch: developing best practice for assessing and managing fisheries impacts

Citation

Good, SD and Baker, GB and Gummery, M and Votier, SC and Phillips, RA, National Plans of Action (NPOAs) for reducing seabird bycatch: developing best practice for assessing and managing fisheries impacts, Biological Conservation, 247 Article 108592. ISSN 0006-3207 (2020) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2020 the authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2020.108592

Abstract

Fisheries bycatch is one of the biggest threats to seabird populations. Managers need to identify where and when bycatch occurs and ensure effective action. In 1999, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations released the International Plan of Action for Reducing Incidental Catch of Seabirds in Longline Fisheries (IPOA-s) encouraging states to voluntarily assess potential seabird bycatch problems and implement a National Plan of Action (NPOA) if needed. However, the IPOA-s is ambiguous about the steps and objectives, diminishing its value as a conservation tool.

We reviewed NPOAs to identify approaches taken to determine whether seabird bycatch is problematic, how bycatch minimisation and population objectives are set, and if thresholds are specified for managing impacts. Our aim was to recommend measures for improving consistency and effectiveness in future NPOAs and other management frameworks for seabirds, with relevance for other threatened marine vertebrates including sharks, turtles, pinnipeds and cetaceans. Globally, 16 NPOAs have been published, but few effectively linked seabird bycatch risk, objectives and management. However, we identified the following best-practice elements that could improve NPOA design: (1) defining explicit risk criteria and methods to assess bycatch problems; (2) setting specific and measurable objectives for minimising bycatch and achieving desired population status; and (3) defining fishery-specific thresholds to trigger management action linked to the population objective. Consistent adoption of NPOA best practice, particularly in states that have not already developed an NPOA, would help to mitigate bycatch threats and ensure fisheries do not reduce the viability of seabird populations.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:bycatch, seabirds, fisheries management, incidental mortality, National Plan of Action (NPOA) - Seabirds
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Wildlife and habitat management
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of pelagic marine ecosystems
UTAS Author:Baker, GB (Dr Barry Baker)
ID Code:143062
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Fisheries and Aquaculture
Deposited On:2021-02-24
Last Modified:2021-05-26
Downloads:0

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