South Africa to host Sixth Session of the meeting of the parties to the agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels
South Africa will host the Sixth Session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP), in Skukuza, Kruger National Park, from 7 May to 11 May 2018.
The Agreement provides a mechanism to improve the conservation status of wide-ranging albatrosses and petrels at a global scale through ensuring international collaboration.
South Africa supports large populations of albatrosses and petrels at its Prince Edward Islands in the Southern Ocean. These birds range well beyond South Africa's territorial waters where they are at risk to fishing activities on the high seas and in the waters of other states, particularly as by-catch in long-line and demersal-trawl fisheries. Other threats to albatrosses and petrels include predation by introduced animals, disease and global change. House mice have been introduced to Marion Island and continue to impact negatively on these seabirds. Disease in penguins has been reported at the island and there have been recent indications of an altered availability of food for some birds at the island.
ACAP came into force in February 2004 and currently has 13 member countries, including South Africa and covers 31 species of albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters.
Many of the world's albatrosses and petrels have a poor conservation status and are listed as Threatened in terms of criteria of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This has resulted from a variety of factors, including deterioration of breeding habitats, disease, targeted hunting and the unfortunate by-catch and mortality of seabirds in fisheries. In May 2017, South Africa gazetted the Threatened or Protected Marine Species Regulations which includes all albatross and petrel species occurring in its territorial waters.
Source: Government of South Africa