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Seabirds at the Crossroads 
IUCN World Congress 2016 in Hawaii

Trustee Chris Gaskin attended the IUCN World Congress 2016 in Hawaii, and he, together with Karen Baird (BirdLife International/Forest & Bird) were two kiwis participating in the ‘Seabirds at the Crossroads’ Pavilion session during the Forum part of the Congress programme.


In thanking the participants, Lisa Ballance (NOAA) who organised the session, said:


“Our event was remarkable in every way - presentation topics were complimentary and the pieces came together for a truly multidisciplinary whole, messages were clear and direct, and timing was extraordinarily precise. I hope you were all able to see the Standing-Room-Only crowd that assembled prior to the start of our event and remained all the way through to the end. It was a real honour to be a part of such success. The session included our "closer" - Head of NOAA Fisheries, Eileen Sobeck - who was present and engaged the entire hour and summarized the session effectively. Eileen's message was two pronged. First, she said partnerships between NOAA Fisheries and other entities is what we are striving for to advance seabird conservation. This has been a general theme of NOAA for a few years now. Second, she talked about our ecosystem-based fishery management roadmap, which emphasizes an ecosystem level approach to all that NOAA Fisheries does. She talked about embracing seabirds more fully under that rubric."

The format for the session series of “TED-like” presentations touching on various aspects of seabird conservation (challenges & solutions) with a focus on multiple disciplines and the potential for synergistic collaborations




Seabirds at the crossroads: Perspectives, Challenges and Solutions – Lisa T. Ballance (NOAA)



  • Global and regional priorities for seabird conservation – Kyle Van Houtan (Monterey Bay Aquarium)

  • Feathered oceanographers: Seabirds as bio-indicators – David Hyrenbach (Hawaii Pacific University)

  • Seabirds: Part of the ocean’s “benefits package” – Summer Martin (NOAA)

  • Racing climate change to the crossroads - Beth Flint (US Fish & Wildlife Service)


Conservation Challenges and Multidisciplinary Solutions

  • Restoration science: combining passive and active seabird restoration techniques – Lindsay Young (Pacific Rim Conservation)

  • Fisheries technology: Mitigating unintended mortality – Eric Gilman (Hawaii Pacific University)

  • Economics: Incentives-based approaches to mitigate bycatch – Dale Squires (NOAA)

  • Fisheries management: Seabirds competing for food with fisheries?Charlotte Boyd (NOAA)

  • Governance: Has progress stalled in protecting seabirds through Regional Fisheries Management Organizations? – Karen Baird (BirdLife International/Forest & Bird)

  • Sociology: Community-based solutions for lasting stewardship– Michelle Hester (Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge)

  • Communications: Do seabirds have a PR problem? – Chris Gaskin (Northern NZ Seabird Trust)

    Seabirds at the crossroads: Where do we go from here? – Eileen Sobeck (NOAA)

A pdf of the presentations will be posted shortly.

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