Antipodean Albatrosses need help
Join Olympic sailing champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke to help recover New Zealand’s majestic Antipodean albatross.
Two thirds of the breeding adults have disappeared, and longline fishing in the Pacific Ocean appears to be the cause. Climate change has forced the female albatrosses to forage further north, in the path of high seas fishing fleets. The females are disappearing at a much faster rate than males, who forage in less fished waters to the south.
The current decline equates to 800 breeding age birds dying a year, or on average two albatrosses a day.
What can we do?
The first step is to find out which vessels are fishing in the same waters as the albatrosses. Then work alongside the vessels, their owners, and their governments to ensure they are using fishing practices to keep albatrosses safe around their hooks. Because there are several thousand vessels fishing in the Pacific Ocean, identifying the vessels that fish in the same places as the albatrosses are feeding is critical. This is where technology can help.
By attaching small GPS satellite devices to the backs of albatrosses, their flight paths can be tracked in near real time. Then the fishing vessels in the same area at the same time can be identified using maps and data collected by Global Fishing Watch.
Vessels can use measures such as setting their fishing lines at night, adding a weight near each hook, using a bird scaring line, or adding a Hook Pod to cover the hook barb. Fishing vessels operating south of 30° are already required to use a mix of these measures.
Join our Olympic sailing champions
Southern Seabird Solutions Trust is teaming up with Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, to help raise funds to recover Antipodean albatrosses. Join Peter and Blair and learn how you can help. Go to www.liveocean.com for more information.