19 June 2020 marked the first World Albatross Day which was launched by the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP) to highlight the conservation crisis affecting this legendary bird.
You can find most albatrosses in the Southern Hemisphere (Antarctica, Australia, South Africa and South America). In contrast, only three albatross species are found in the North Pacific (Hawaii, Japan, California and Alaska). All of the 22 albatross species recognised by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) are listed as at some level of concern, ranging from vulnerable to critically endangered.
Since the late 1990s’, seabird mortality arising from fishing operations has been reduced from thousands of birds annually to almost zero in fisheries regulated by CCAMLR. This has been achieved through the implementation of a combination of measures including seasonal closures, night setting, the deployment of streamer lines, additional line weights to increase sink rates, prohibition on the discharge of offal during setting and hauling and the use of bird exclusion devices around the hauling point.
Did you know, albatross sleep while flying and only visit land for breeding? These feathered giants have the longest wingspan of any bird — up to 11 feet!
We are grateful to have a dedicated World Albatross Day to honour these magnificent birds and highlight the ongoing conservation crisis they face.