ALBATROSS TASK FORCE

SAVING THE ALBATROSS.

 

‘Albatrosses have survived the harshest marine environment for 50 million years; more than 100 times longer than our own species. However, these magnificent birds are unable to cope with the man-made threats, such as long line fishing.

 

Albatrosses should be free to circle the globe for millions of years to come- we must stop this needless slaughter now to prevent an entire branch being torn from the evolutionary tree’.

 

SIR DAVID ATTENBOROUGH, BROADCASTER AND NATURALIST.

 

A MIRACLE OF EVOLUTION, ABLE TO ROAM THE OCEANS WITHOUT A PAUSE….

 

Amongst the largest flying birds, weighing up to 25 lbs. The Wandering Albatross has a wing span of 11 feet and live for 50 years or more. It will go on foraging trips five thousand miles long to feed its chick. Their breeding pattern is not kind to increasing their numbers. They lay one egg only that can take 70 days to incubate and another 10 months for young birds to fledge. For over a year each parent in turn makes frequent trips of up to five thousand miles, for days on end, to bring food back for the hungry chick. The breeding cycle is so energy demanding that the pair of wandering albatrosses, for instance, can only produce, at best one chick every two years.

 

EACH YEAR- 100.000, YES 100.000 ARE DROWNED, CAUGHT ON BAIT OF LONGLINE FISHING BOATS.

19 of the 21 species are being driven to extinction. Recently, a single vessel killed 51 albatross in a horrible bycatch. (accidental seabird deaths from fishing).

 

 

There is a solution. International fishing regulations are kicking in and the RSPB’s ALBATROSS TASK FORCE is training instructors to work with fishing crews in South Africa and Brazil and soon teams will be working with Argentinean and Chilean fishing fleets.. All this costs money but to catch fish and not thousands of albatross is a worthy cause.

 

I went bird watching to New Zealand a year ago and took a boat trip to feed the albatross attracted by offal dangling from a net over the side. I was enchanted with a Shy albatross that paddled within touching distance of where I sat. This wild and lovely creature emitted nasal huffing noises and when I copied them, he huffed back to me. It seemed we were conversing with each other. To be so close to this mystical wanderer of the Southern ocean was a deeply moving experience and one I captured on camera. It was printed in the RSPB Albatross Task Force Newsletter and I happily joined the SAVE THE ALBATROSS Patrons Club. I will not leave this world without doing what I can to stop these needless and cruel deaths and deny following generations the chance of bobbing on the Southern ocean in the company of a majestic creature that has already survived 50 millions years and deserves the same span again.

 

 

If any one cares to join my desire to SAVE THE ALBATROSS, www.savethealbatross.net has the details.

 

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