Agreement on the Conservation of Albatross and Petrels (ACAP)

Hello, I’m Anne, the ACAP Co-ordinator, working for JNCC (Joint Nature Conservation Committee) and hosted by SAERI. JNCC are the statutory advisor to the UK government on UK and international nature conservation (www.jncc.defra.gov.uk). The Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP) came into force in 2004 (www.acap.aq) and it currently has 13 signatories.

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The main objective of the Agreement is to maintain favourable conservation status for albatross and petrel species that are listed under the Agreement. The UK, including on behalf of its South Atlantic Overseas Territories (SAOTs), ratified ACAP in 2004, shortly after it came into force. The SAOTs of Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Tristan da Cunha, and the British Antarctic Territories are all included in the ratification.

All 22 albatross species are listed under ACAP, as well as seven species of petrel, and one species of shearwater. Relevant species for the UK include the Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophris of which approximately 70% of the global breeding population is present in the Falkland Islands, the Tristan Albatross Diomedea dabbenena which is endemic to the Tristan da Cunha Islands, and the White-chinned Petrel Procellaria aequinoctialis whose largest global breeding population is found in South Georgia. My role is to co-ordinate the UK’s efforts to meet its obligations under ACAP. An important aspect of the work is the collation of breeding and fisheries by-catch data from all SAOTs, and from this to produce the UK ACAP implementation reports. These reports have recently been completed, and I am now preparing for the 8th Advisory Committee meeting, which will be held in Punta del Este in Uruguay in September.

Being based in the Falkland Islands means I am ideally placed to work with the SAOT governments, NGOs, landowners and other relevant groups. The other half of my role is JNCC South Atlantic Overseas Territories Conservation Officer. This involves providing support and advice on a variety on conservation issues and projects to the SAOTs already mentioned plus St Helena and Ascension Island. This could include anything from the protection of endemic plants, rodent eradication, or fisheries licensing and enforcement. Needless to say the job is very varied and interesting and I’m looking forward to what the next few months bring.

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