The first time I saw an albatross I was blown away. I was in NZ working on shearwaters and took a day off to go on a boat trip in the hope of seeing something different and I certainly did. A Gibson's wandering albatross started off as a speck on the horizon before it filled my binocular vision and gave me one of my most awe inspiring wildlife moments. With a 3m wingspan and weighing between 8-10Kg it was a privilege to be so close to this magnificent species.
Gibson's Wandering Albatross
But while admiring this and the many other albatross species I saw that day I couldn't help feeling a sadness. Accidental bycatch in fishing gear is a huge problem. 15 of the world's 22 albatross species are threatened with extinction.
But all hope is not lost. Colleagues from the Albatross Task Force (an international team of seabird bycatch mitigation experts led by the RSPB and BirdLife International) are working tirelessly to reduce the incidents of bycatch, educate and change the habits of long line fisheries around the world and ensure the long term survival of this species.
Southern Royal Albatross
Today is the first World Albatross Day. I intend to use it further educate myself about this unique family of giant seabirds and raise awareness of the impact of our activities are having globally on this species. Below are a series of posts from colleagues and other organisations from around the world. I would encourage you to spend a bit of time reading or watching some of them today and if you feel inspired you can join the fight by donating to the Albatross Task Force here
Find out about the work of the Albatross Task Force
Read a blog by Rory Crawford (RSPB's Bycatch Programme Manager) :How to save an an albatross - the boring way
Watch a series of short videos on The Albatross Task Force You Tube Channel
And once again a chance to donate to The Albatross Task Force and help fund this vital conservation work
We spend 90% of net income on conservation, public education and advocacy
The RSPB is a member of BirdLife International. Find out more about the partnership
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