In 2004, 19 of the world’s 22 albatross species were threatened with extinction, due largely to commercial fishing practices. An international team of expert instructors has since spent a decade working with fishermen refining techniques to prevent these magnificent seabirds from needlessly dying behind fishing boats and has had great success!
Seabirds can’t help but pursue fishing boats, with their bait and the promise of a tasty and easily caught meal. But they often get too close, accidentally getting hooked or entangled in fishing gear, and then helplessly drown.
“Namibia stands at the threshold of moving, in very short time, from being the worst country in the world for seabird bycatch, to the very best”, said Oliver Yates, BirdLife International’s Global Albatross Task Force Coordinator.
Following a meeting with the BirdLife’s Albatross Task Force, The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources in Namibia has introduced new fishery regulations which should practically eliminate seabird mortality from one of the most destructive fisheries!
More great news for the Albatross Task Force - this time from Argentina where a major fishery will potentially save the lives of thousands of albatross by using bird-scaring lines on their trawler fleet.
Early indications suggest that the artisanal demersal longline fishery, operating from small open out-board boats in South Ecuador, has a negative impact on seabirds, specifically the Critically Endangered Waved Albatross...
Between the 4th August and 2nd September two ATF Chile instructors (including myself!) took to the high seas onboard a Chilean pelagic longline vessel that fishes for swordfish. What was our mission? What was our objective?