Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) today introduced new legislation that will protect imperiled seabirds from international fishing threats and increase ongoing conservation efforts in the United States and abroad.
The Albatross and Petrel Conservation Act would implement the international Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP), a conservation agreement that has been signed by thirteen member countries since 2001. President George W. Bush first asked the U.S. Senate to ratify the agreement in 2008, and while President Barack Obama has listed it as a priority, the Senate has yet to take action.
“By signing and implementing the ACAP agreement, the U.S. can urge other nations to adopt strong conservation standards and can take steps to ensure that foreign fishing vessels follow international conservation measures that protect endangered seabirds,” Congressman Lowenthal said. “I hope that my legislation will get the ball rolling because this is a golden opportunity for the United States to improve wildlife conservation not just here at home, but around the world.”
Many albatross and petrel species are among the most threatened seabirds in the world because of habitat loss and fisheries bycatch (unwanted fish and other marine creatures caught during commercial fishing for a different species), but the U.S. has been a leader in reducing fisheries bycatch.
Congressman Lowenthal’s bill ties together existing U.S. laws and statutes without substantially changing current laws in order to implement the international agreement.
“This legislation will give the U.S. more international influence to protect these endangered sea birds around the world by authorizing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service to implement fisheries conservation measures, increase international fisheries enforcement, restore habitat, reduce non-native species, develop educational programs, and cooperate internationally,” Congressman Lowenthal said.
This legislation is cosponsored by Reps. Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), Bill Keating (MA-09), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), and Pedro Pierluisi (PR).
Congressman Alan Lowenthal represents the cities of Long Beach, Lakewood, Signal Hill, Avalon, Los Alamitos, Rossmoor, Cypress, Westminster, Garden Grove, Buena Park, Anaheim, Midway City and Stanton in California’s 47th Congressional District. He can be followed on Facebook, Twitter, or his website.
This article was released by the Office of Congressman Alan Lowenthal.