Sending Office: Honorable Alan S. Lowenthal
Encourage worldwide conservation of endangered seabirds
Become an original cosponsor of the Albatross and Petrel Conservation Act
Many migratory seabird species are in trouble. Of the 22 species of albatross, 15 are threatened with extinction, while the remaining seven species are near threatened, according the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). More than half of
all petrel species are threatened with extinction. The most significant threat to these species is from bycatch in longline fisheries, especially from foreign fleets in the Pacific Ocean and illegal, unreported and unregulated fisheries (IUU).
Other threats include marine pollution and invasive predators on nesting islands.
The Albatross and Petrel Conservation Act implements the
Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP). The U.S. is already a global leader in addressing bycatch and other threats to these species, but international threats remain. The Albatross and Petrel Conservation Act will give the U.S.
more international influence to protect these endangered sea birds around the world.
This will benefit U.S. fisheries which are often disadvantaged by the United States’ comparatively strict conservation standards that protect wildlife.
The legislation implements the ACAP treaty and authorizes the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to engage in activities that will improve conditions for albatrosses and petrels, including:
- Bycatch reduction measures and international fisheries enforcement
- Research into the conservation of albatrosses and petrels
- Habitat restoration
- Control of non-native species
- Development of education programs
The legislation does not expand or alter the enforcement scheme for albatrosses and petrels found within U.S. jurisdiction, because these species are already protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Domestic fisheries
would not be subject to additional restrictions of their activities under the proposed legislation because these activities are already regulated under Magnuson-Stevens.
Instead, joining ACAP creates leverage with which the U.S. can urge other nations to adopt strong conservation standards, while providing agencies the authority to ensure foreign fleets follow international conservation measures designed to protect
albatrosses and petrels. This will make U.S. fisheries more competitive in the long-run.
The ratification of ACAP has enjoyed bipartisan support, including by former President George W. Bush and President Obama.
Please contact Rachel Gentile in my office at
Rachel.Gentile@mail.house.gov, x-57924 to cosponsor this important legislation.
Member of Congress
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