Focussing on the marine environment

Tristan Albatross is disappearing fast because of incidental mortality in longline fisheries Photo: Fabio Olmos

Many seabird species are spectacularly mobile, travelling thousands of kilometres across the oceans, and only return to land to breed. They face many serious conservation challenges and are now the most threatened group of birds. Given the long periods they spend at sea, the multiple threats they face there and the vast distances they cover, identifying a network of priority sites for their conservation is a challenge—but vital to ensure their future survival. Since 2004, the BirdLife Global Seabird and Marine Programme has been identifying Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas for seabirds both on land and at sea and recently launched the first global inventory of marine IBAs. The identification of these sites is a necessary first step towards promoting and implementing targeted conservation action. BirdLife works through a range of international and regional policy mechanisms to ensure that IBAs are included within relevant Marine Protected Area and marine spatial planning initiatives.

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