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Thousands of Albatross Snared in Fishing Line Hooks (VIDEO)

Thousands of Albatross Snared in Fishing Line Hooks (VIDEO)

Not only are the ocean and its denizens in danger today from the likes of plastic and consumers’ appetite for fish. Seabirds like albatross are endangered by fishing lines, with up to 300,000 of them dying each year when they become caught in hooks on commercial bait lines. These can be several kilometers long and are studded with over 1000 bait hooks, say scientists with the RSPB, who worked for four years to compile data from fisheries around the world.

As Dr. Orea Anderson notes to the BBC:

One Spanish longline fleet on the Gran Sol grounds off the coast of Ireland, for example, could be responsible for killing about 50,000 birds annually, according to the review.

The Japanese tuna fleet was also highlighted; it is estimated to have claimed 20,000 birds each year and to have had the largest impact on albatrosses.

Noting that the massive numbers of seabirds dying is not sustainable, Dr. Anderson says there’s a simple solution — using “bird scarers where the lines enter the water” or “weight lines so the bait hooks are beyond the reach of a seabird’s dive” — small changes that can make more than a huge difference.

The RSPB has a campaign to save the albatross; as the RSPB says:

The albatross family is becoming threatened faster than any other family of birds. Seventeen of the 22 species of albatross are globally threatened with extinction, an increase from just seven in 1994.

Albatrosses are being killed in such vast numbers that they can’t breed fast enough to keep up, putting them in real danger of extinction.

Without help, losses could become so great that recovery may never be possible for these majestic ocean wanderers.

For those whose only familiarity with the albatross is in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner, here is a video of these beautiful birds and the sad fate too many meet due to longline fishing hooks:

 

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Photo by angrysunbird.

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51 comments

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1:26PM PST on Dec 4, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

12:25AM PDT on May 14, 2012

thanks for the info

2:05PM PST on Feb 4, 2012

go vegan

8:08AM PST on Feb 4, 2012

The people who go on fishing like this should be shot! You are a shame on humanity!

8:07AM PST on Feb 4, 2012

The people who go on fishing like this should be shot! You are a shame on humanity!

8:06AM PST on Feb 4, 2012

The people who go on fishing like this should be shot! You are a shame on humanity!

6:17AM PST on Feb 3, 2012

"Noting that the massive numbers of seabirds dying is not sustainable, Dr. Anderson says "there’s a simple solution — using “bird scarers where the lines enter the water” or “weight lines so the bait hooks are beyond the reach of a seabird’s dive” — small changes that can make more than a huge difference."

JUST DO IT! No time or need to debate the urnecy and need for this improvement!

12:54AM PDT on Jul 29, 2011

This is a very sad story. Other animals has to go only because "we" humans do not want to share the world with other life forms, these life forms "we" would not eat (vegetarian food is not a bad idea, or eating with conscience as the so called primitive cultures did and still do, if they still exist. No meat/fish every day). "We" destroy averything around us and "we" forget, that everything is important to survive, too.

As little child i thought that rain is when God and the angels cry - because "we" humans have forgotten that we need this "intelligence", someone who could help... if "we" hadn't turned away for many centuries ago...

"Only when the last tree has been cut down; Only when the last river has been poisoned; Only when the last fish has been caught; Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten."
(Native American proverb)

"We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not yet learned the simple art of living together as brothers." (Martin Luther King)

12:01AM PDT on Jun 15, 2011

Poor birds. How horrible!

9:17AM PDT on Jun 13, 2011

Won't watch the video, but those ideas in the article seem like good ones, and they wouldn't be expensive to implement! Disgusting that we are killing them off faster than they can recuperate. That doesn't say much for the humans. It's also not a surprise.

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