Draft National Plan of Action for reducing the incidental catch of seabirds in Namibian fisheries, May 2017
The Namibian National Plan of Action to combat the incidental capture and killing of seabirds in Namibian fisheries (NPOA-Seabirds) is a voluntary undertaking aimed at reducing the mortality of seabirds associated with these fisheries to insignificant levels. The Namibian NPOA-Seabirds has been developed within the context of global efforts to reduce incidental mortalities of seabirds and closely follows the framework provided for in the FAO's International Plan of Action (IPOA-Seabirds, adopted by the FAO Conference in 1999). The NPOA-Seabirds provides a view on the historical developments and international agreements that has brought about growing international awareness of the negative impacts of seabird bycatch on the populations of affected seabirds. Thirteen species of seabirds that forage in the Benguela ecosystem are killed in significant numbers by longline fisheries and potentially by the trawl fishery. This NPOA sets out procedures and practices to be followed in implementing the national program, expounding on six key elements that form the basis of this plan: assessment, prescription of mitigation measures, compliance, research and development, education, training and publicity and data collection and reporting. Critical to its success, the NPOA calls for the establishment of BCC technical Ecosystem and Bycatch Working Group (EBWG) that will oversee the implementation of the NPOA-Seabirds, in support of FAO's IPOA-seabirds.